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With regard to pages or discussions related to WP:MOS, SMcCandlish is prohibited from making bad faith assumptions about other participants; strongly advised to avoid commenting on contributor, particularly with regard to WP:NPA and WP:CIV; and encouraged to keep his contributions to a reasonable length. Gatoclass (talk) 06:34, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Attention: This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.

Request concerning SMcCandlish[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Enric Naval (talk) 03:21, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
SMcCandlish (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article_titles_and_capitalisation#All_parties_reminded and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article_titles_and_capitalisation#Discretionary_sanctions
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 06:05, 8 February 2013 "(...) is an idea that in nine years has never gained traction here, not even after some members of WP:BIRDS massively canvassed, disrupted polls that weren't going their way, threatened editorial strikes and walk-outs, abused WP:DRN as a forum for anti-MOS campaigning, etc., etc."
  2. 06:21, 8 February 2013 It is not a flaw in MOS that certain unbearably tendentious editors refuse to "accept" and "respect" MOS. This happens all the time, for myriad reasons, from (...), to occupational and avocational publications having style quirks that adherents to refuse to accept (...)"
  3. 20:33, 13 February 2013 "It's defense by a handful of editors over the last year or two is arguably just tendentious editwarring in refusal to accept consensus, because there isn't even a local consensus among participants at the project or at MOS:CAPS to begin with, just a tiny handful of editors in favor of it (some not from the insects project at all, but just fans of capitalization)." (clearly a reference to WP:BIRDS wikiproject)
  4. 20:39, 13 February 2013 "Except you're missing the point that excessively loud holy-hell-raising be a tiny number of tendentious editors is not an indication of lack of consensus, only refusal to accept that consensus isn't with you" (clearly a reference to WP:BIRDS wikiproject)
  5. 02:03, 16 February 2013 "There is only a very tiny minority of editors (less that two dozen, site-wide, from what I can tell from observing five years of this "force Wikipedia to do what my favorite journal does" WP:BATTLEGROUNDing) , mostly at the birds project but a few floating around here and there who say this. It's a matter of a few editors refusing to accept and respect consensus, not the other way around. (...) "Editors who work in different areas" in which capitalization of species sometimes happens all know full well that capitalization is basically never, ever permitted outside their specialist publications, which are not unanimously in favor of it either, and they understand full well that trying to impose it on WP is exactly the same as trying to impose it on Nature and other journals, except that for academics to railing against major journals will harm their careers, while disrupting WP for nine years in a tendentious campaign to force everyone to capitalize just because they like it that way, is just a pointless pastime that few people will take them to task for as long as they also do some productive editing." (clearly a reference to WP:BIRDS wikiproject)
  6. 12:18, 23 February 2013 "And guess what? No one's head explodes. No one quit Wikipedia in huff over it, or threatened repeatedly to do so or to organize a project-wide editorial sit-in, or tried to recruit editors to start a competing e-encyclopedia project over the matter, or canvassed to derail a straw poll at MOS, or hijacked WP:DRN as a wikipolitical attack platform on the matter, or any other disruptive nonsense. I can only think of one project in which some participants have engaged in such battlegrounding behavior – without the support of the vast majority of people in the project they presume to act as if they represent, I might add – when it comes to capitalization of species common names." (clearly a reference to WP:BIRDS wikiproject)
  7. 13:52, 23 February 2013 "If you want to see people making statements that approach "WP will implode" levels of hysteria, I'll be happy to point you to some, but they won't be coming from MOS regulars, but rather from pushers of some outlying WP:LOCALCONSENSUS (e.g. that capitalization by some but not all journals in a field trumps the orders of magnitude larger bulk of all other publications who do not capitalize even when writing about the same topic) or personal pet-peeve style theory (e.g. that en dashes are never appropriate in proper names of any kind and must be replaced with hyphens)."
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. Warned on 2013-02-01 by Sandstein (talk · contribs) (Note: This "warning"/accusation and the validity of its basis are the subject of an ongoing discussion at WP:ARCA that Sandstein opened himself because it was controversial and remains so; SMcCandlish is appealing it.) (this note was added by someone else, the clarification is only asking if warnings can be appealed. It doesn't discuss the validity of the warning. And it's all very moot, since SMcCandlish was a party in the arb case and he was notified of the issuing of discretionary sanctions when the case closed here, and thus he can be considered warned. Admins were already able to impose AE sanctions without previous warnings from the moment the case closed. And the arb case already warned to "avoid personalizing disputes concerning the Manual of Style, the article titles policy ('WP:TITLE'), and similar policy and guideline pages". --Enric Naval (talk) 22:58, 24 February 2013 (UTC))
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

User keeps personalizing style disputes, with no diffs. The comments are made in MOS pages, relate to MOS matters, and refer to editors that had MOS disputes with him. Many of the diffs are comments about some members of the WP:BIRDS wikiproject, even if the project is not mentioned by name. User was specifically warned about "broad allegations of severe personal misconduct on the part of several editors", with the allegations being "unsupported by any useful evidence". [1] --Enric Naval (talk) 03:21, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

@Gatoclass. At least tell him to stop this sort of commentaries. --Enric Naval (talk) 22:18, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning SMcCandlish[edit]

Statement by SMcCandlish[edit]

Older responses that are largely moot now.
  • I've been specifically moderating my comments to impersonalize them, and address patterns of editing behavior (i.e. edits) not specific editors. That these editing patterns come mostly (not entirely, and I"ve been careful to note that) from editors who happen to be vocal and highly politicizing participants in a particular project (but represent only a small fraction of that project's membership, another fact I've been careful to point out repeatedly) are salient facts that cannot be avoided and which are genuinely relevant to the discussion in which I've mentioned them. I have been especially careful to avoid the "blaming the project" language that has formerly characterized the debate (not just from me; hardly). I have chosen my words very carefully. I also explicitly refactored discussion of that project out of the thread in which people were recycling old arguments about it, because that project is not actually relevant to the real discussion. I shunted that tooth-gnashy, distracting rehash into a separate thread which even by the title I gave it hopefully will discourage further bickering. In replying there, I also make it clear that capitalization-advancing members of that project are actually getting what they want, both at MOS and MOSCAPS, which are not in conflict about their project or its scope. The guideline and its subpage are conflicting only when it comes to insects, a topic not related to the project in question. Posting a bunch of diffs, as the AE requester is lashing out at me for not doing, would have no effect but to intensely personalize the dispute, by drawing renewed attention to specific editors by name for actions I would hope by now most of them regret. That consistently identifiable patterns of disruptive behavior have been brought to bear by one side of the debate is an important fact within and about the debate itself, but making it did not require kicking people individually for things that happened a year or more ago, and frankly I think that the AE requester seriously needs to rethink his priorities if his "solution" to my allegedly being oh so personalizing would be to force me to muckrake by name in an almost WP:LAWYERly level of nitpicking, linked detail. If AE really wants diffs of every single one of those things, you'd better bet I can provide them. I repeat that I chose my words very carefully. I cannot possibly see any good coming from posting such things here or at WT:MOS. I specifically refrained from naming names, and addressed only historically attested editorial behaviors and patterns thereof, in the aggregate. It is, after all, the behaviors and the patterns formed by them that matter; I couldn't care less who in particular engages in them). This is the diametric opposite of "personalizing style disputes". The requester of this dispute is effectively demanding that I personalize style disputes in order to demonstrate that I'm not personalizing style disputes. "NO-O-OBODY expects the Spanish Inquisitionnn!"

    Also, the complainant's assumptions in the form "(clearly a reference to WP:BIRDS wikiproject)" again and again above are categorically incorrect (again: I am being careful to clearly distinguish between the project and a self-selecting group of people who are mostly but not entirely participating in that project and who do not comprise the bulk of that project), and is flat-out wrong completely, even direction-wise, with regard to point #4 above! I'd like to quote Robert Anton Wilson here: "Never ASSUME, or you will probably make an ASS out of both U and ME." Also, the requester is relying on a disputed "warning"/accusation by Sandstein, about which several Arbs and many other admins and regular editors have raised concerns. Worse yet, the requester's interpretation of its wording is incorrect anyway and not applicable here. Sandstein accused me and Noetica and two others of making specific accusations at AE, without proof, of editorial misconduct by several specific, named editors. I and others had in fact already provided the proof, and WP:AN had already acted on it by issuing a topic ban and block to Apteva and informal warnings to the others at issue; Sandstein simply hadn't seen it, making his accusation a false one, and although it doesn't appear to have been an intentional oversight, he nevertheless refuses to take it back, on what I believe is some kind of procedural point, not simply stubbornness and clearly has a personal bone to pick with me, judging by his attempt to close this AE himself and issue me a long-term ban. Noetica quit Wikipedia in protest, while I have instead sought an avenue of appeal, and that is still ongoing at WP:ARCA (the consensus so far is clearly that it can be appealed because it includes an accusation, i.e. an alleged finding of fact which can be contested). None of that relates in any way to being critical of patterns of disruptive editing behavior and carefully both anonymizing and limiting the implied breadth of whose patterns these might be in the context. By way of analogy, the warning/accusation was about my saying "my neighbor Bob is an irresponsible driver and that makes Bob dangerous" without proof (but I actually already posted the proof, which makes the warning/accusation bogus), while this new AE is trying to censure and censor me, under that warning/accusation's rationale, for saying "Irresponsible driving is dangerous, and we've seen what that looks like in our own neighborhood" and avoiding personalizing it. If a person is not named, then by definition it is not personalized. QED.

  • Opening a discussion at WT:MOS about WP:MOSCAPS directly contradicting WP:MOS on a point that MOS explicitly overruled in 2008 and which never had consensus to be in MOSCAPS or the WP:INSECTS page it was borrowed from to begin with (check their archives; I did), is not "battlegrounding". Trying to prevent MOSCAPS being synched to MOS (which it needs to be per WP:LOCALCONSENSUS and per MOS's own introductory paragraph which states specifically that it supersedes its subpages in the event of any conflict) out of an expressly stated desire to change MOS and MOS's entire nature, is what some might call battlegrounding (and WP:POINTy and WP:GAMING and several other problematic things), though I think it has more to do with misapplication of pressure to the wrong point.
  • I realize, trust me, that helping protect MOS and thereby Wikipedia's stability and usability from tendentious special interests and their pet peeves is mostly a worse-than-thankless task, but this latest AE request is a pile of vindictive nonsense. It was requested by someone who was himself recommended at WP:AN for topic-banning on a style issue (along with Apteva, who actually was topic-banned), and I was the one who recommended extending the ban to him (thus this is easy to see as purely a vengeance AE request, just like the Apteva vs. Noetica one a few weeks ago). The request is supported first by an editor-admin who is closely tied to an MOS-related ongoing dispute involving me at WP:ARCA, and who recently tried to censor me off RfA via AE and met with much derision for that attempt; note that here he simply drops an accusatory and condemnatory one-liner that neither proves I've done anything wrong nor admits his own roles and involvements in these disputes, including what appears to be a personal vendetta against me in particular. The request is supported second by one of my two only real opponents at the MOS debate in question, a discussion in which said editor has made it clear that he is trying to impede application of LOCALCONSENSUS to MOSCAPS in his effort to change MOS itself rather than addressing the actual policy arguments I made under LOCALCONSENSUS, etc., at this discussion in WT:MOS. I also find it unfortunate that we don't see eye to eye on this particular matter, as we do tend to agree on many other things. But filibustering on this is not the way to change MOS. The way to change MOS is propose a change at WT:MOS and work toward consensus for it. Pitting MOSCAPS against MOS is worse than pointless. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 11:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
If by "the request is supported second" you mean me, then please read what I wrote. Maybe it's my British tendency to understatement, but to me it's clear that when I wrote "I do not believe he should be prevented from contributing to MOS-related discussions" I was not supporting sanctions against you. Clearly I can't dispute Enrik Naval's statement that you have used inappropriate language, since it's precisely what I have already said to you here. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:26, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
If you say so. It appeared to me that you did support some sanctions, but reluctantly, and short of a topic ban. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 02:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I formally move that this AE request must be dismissed with prejudice because it is clearly vexatious (the action was brought to harass or subdue an adversary). It is also frivolous (lacking WP policy/procedural merit) and brought with unclean hands ("If there is any indication that the plaintiff seeking the remedy had acted in bad faith" it won't be granted; if it's vexatious, unclean hands doctrine is almost always also applicable, because you basically can't be attempting to hound or silence a debate opponent in good faith, by definition). That's all three of the grounds for immediate dismissal. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 12:57, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Sandstein: I repeat: If a person is not named, then by definition it is not personalized. Studiously avoiding criticizing other editors as people and only addressing patterns of editing behavior is the opposite of personalizing disputes. Also, you seriously have no business chiming in on this one except in the "Comments by others about the request concerning SMcCandlish" because you are deeply involved. We have an ongoing dispute, in which plenty of Arbs are siding with my concerns, at WP:ARCA, and about which numerous other parties, including other admins, have questioned your judgement and neutrality. I believe at the frivolous and vexatious AE that SarekOfVulcan used to try to censor me at RfA, you were specifically asked by at least one other admin to back off. See WP:KETTLE. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 13:05, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Sandstein again, but intended for public consumption: I'm sorry that you are taking my use of the word "protecting" in such an unusually personal, over-interpreted way, and adding to it your own feelings about me. I mean it in precisely the same way that terms like this are used at WP:VANDAL, the Defender of the Wiki Barnstar, New Pages patrol, the neutrality and other content-related noticeboards, etc. I am a conscientious editor here to help write an encyclopedia. There are many threats to the reliability, usability, credibility, etc., of this project. While the most obvious one is outright moronic vandalism, there are many more subtle and more dangerous ones, chief among them PoV-pushing. One very common form of it consists of attempts by special interests to warp encyclopedic language to suit their whims, and to force all other readers and editors to do as these specialists do. It's a extreme form of WP:OWNership, of entire broad topic areas. MOS regulars, and many other editors site-wide (track WP:RM for a while, you'll see) resist this. I speak more plainly when I do so that some do. WP:CIVIL does not require that anyone be lovey-dovey or pretend that deleterious editing behaviors are okay. WP:AGF does not require one to continue to assume good faith after evidence has mounted that a deleterious editing behavior pattern shows a clear agenda to force Wikipedia to do what some particular sort of specialist publication does – whether that be academic journals in a particular subfield or anime fandom publications or anything in between – that conflicts severely with everyday English and most or all published sources that are not limited to that special interest. WP:POLICY does not require that I be terse. Lambasting me for not being terse as if this were a policy matter and basing even in part your desire to long-term block me because I type longer sentences that you do is totally inappropriate here. I'm glad you did mention it pointedly here, though, since it clearly demonstrates that you have no business posing as an uninvolved admin on this issue, and obviously have a personal beef with me.

    And that's just one reason you're not uninvolved. Your extreme proposal at Talk:Mexican–American War [actually, it was at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive222#Topic ban proposal concerning the lame "Mexican-American War" hyphen/en-dash dispute] to topic-ban Noetica and everyone else in the dispute, then and in perpetuity, and your dogged pursuit of me, Noetica and others, even in the face of sharp criticism for it from other admins, is strongly evidenciary of a bone to pick. Your position seems to be that because you have not expressed a preference for capitalization vs. lower case for species common names or vice versa, or for hyphens vs. dashes or vice versa in titles that juxtapose two discrete entities, this means you are somehow neutral. But you clearly do – perhaps more than any other admin on the system – have a horse in this race. It isn't a particular style nit-pick, it is that you are intolerant of style nit-picking. Your position is one of impatience and of trivializing concerns that others care about, which you haughtily condemn as meaningless. It's fortunate that your proposal to simply censor everyone at Mexican–American War with long-term topic bans (which seems to be the only remedy you want to advance for anything) failed; it was supported by no one other than SarekOfVulcan, since the one other intelligible "support" !vote was rescinded, and all others were against, except one weird one from a noob that goes on about "contracts" and doesn't make sense in the context). But trying to get everyone to shut up about style disputes by threatening them with blocks and hounding them off the system is not an appropriate response to such failure to gain consensus to silence other editors. The proper course of action is, of course, dropping the matter and finding something else to concern yourself with. I have to suggest that the party here who needs to stay out of style disputes is you, Sandstein, because you can't stand them and simply want to muzzle people who engage in them.

    Now let's address your latest accusation. I have no stance that I am "right" in some absolute sense about any style issue at all. You claim I do, and that I must be banned for at least a year for it, without demonstrating this claim to be true. (What was that about casting personal aspersions without proof, again? Are you going to block yourself?) I do take the position that consensus (such as at MOS to not capitalize the common names of species, and to use dashes not hyphens when dashes are called for) has been arrived at for reasons that best serve Wikipedia's interests, and that it is necessary to defend consensus-based guidelines from willy-nilly attempts to undo them by people with a specialist "my journal doesn't do it that way and I'm an expert so you have to obey my preferences" bone to pick. Such attempts are very frequent (and do in fact most commonly involve capitalization and hyphenation). This necessarily means that anyone involved in trying to stop MOS from being altered by every random special interest on earth will necessarily be seen as being frequently involved in such debates, and is fairly likely to be seen as argumentative, because these disputes are rarely pretty, due to the "we have the One True Way" attitude brought by people trying to force specialist quirks into MOS. There are actually many things in MOS that do not match my own writing style and preferences (for instance, I always hyphenate things like "African-American" and do not believe that US/Imperial customary units like "inch" should be abbreviated like "in" without dots after them, etc., etc.), but I defend MOS on such points, and obey them when writing WIkipedia, because it's more important that MOS be stable and be arrived at by a consensus of editors here who care about it, than for me to get my way about what MOS should say. I think this is necessarily true of all MOS "regulars".

    The thread at WT:MOS that lead to this AE request isn't even about style, but about a few editors trying to filibuster the synching of MOSCAPS to its overriding parent page, MOS which should be done per LOCALCONSENSUS policy (it does not permit individuals or little groups of editors to make up their own rules against site-wide consensuses, something on which ARBCOM has spoken authoritatively as well more than once). It's not actually a style dispute at all, it's a power struggle over whether style is set at MOS, with participation at WT:MOS by people from relevant wikiprojects as well as less topically-focused editors, or is set by insular wikiprojects – often with no external input, or with noted external input that strenuously disagrees with the wikiproject's proposal – then pushed into MOS by any means necessary. Projects (I've co-founded several) do produce useful guideline material that is regularly accepted into MOS – when it does not grossly conflict with everyday usage of the English language. When it does, MOS almost always sides with everyday usage (after all, the vast majority of reliable sources, from newspapers to other encyclopedias, support that usage over a quirky variant that's in evidence only in some specialist publications). Some editors refuse to accept this. I"m being keelhauled for not giving them what they want, and for daring to criticize what sometimes turn into disruptive campaigns by such editors (but going out of my way to not single them out personally for editor-not-edits criticism). I'm sure my daring to be critical of the behavior of a couple of admins who keep involving themselves in style disputes, then claim to be uninvolved when they try to silence other parties in those debates, surely couldn't have anything to do with it, though. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 02:32, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

  • @Hans Adler: I too have trying very hard to assume good faith about Sandstein's intentions, but this has gone too far now [regardless what the underlying motivation might be]. It's just outright WP:HARASSment at this point. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 03:29, 25 February 2013 (UTC) Updated: — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 11:25, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @The Devil's Advocate: Your concise outline of the debate appears to be correct to me. I even made a point of refactoring the thrice-damned "let's argue about birds again" junk out of the discussion, which is about a MOSCAPS vs. MOS wording conflict on insects, to keep it on track. I feel that my actual failure in this instance was allowing myself to be goaded into such an argument at all instead of recognizing it immediately as a topic shift that would mire the discussion in distracting noise. Birds are not even relevant to the thread at all! — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 03:29, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Peter coxhead: In the "bloc" instance I was referring to someone who blatantly canvassed a wikiproject to come and swamp and disrupt a straw poll at WT:MOS; this editor was formally found at WP:AN/I to in fact have canvassed in such a manner, so I can prove that. Again, I don't think there's any point in personalizing the issue by digging up names and diffs., when the point was to suggest simply that going to extremes like that to prevent WP doing what the majority of reliable sources do is disruptive. If I have to get specific, e.g. in an ArbCom case, I will, of course, but can't see any benefit to doing so here or at WT:MOS. The "police" comment was in reference to what is happening right now here at AE and more extendedly at ARBATC, etc., over the last several weeks, starting with Sandstein's false accusations against me, Noetica and two others, in defense of Apteva after he'd already been sanctioned at AN (well, actually going back to the dash dispute at Mexican–American War, in which I did not even participate). When I used "gaggle", I was including you. It's not a word I use much, and I wasn't trying to imply you were following a "pack" mentality, but rather I was pointing out that the number of editors who want to capitalize common names is small. When I say things like "people from one project, and a few outliers", by "a few outliers" I really mean "User:Peter coxhead, and presumably someone who's an entomologist, and likely someone else or other I've forgotten". :-) WRT projects, while I doubt that too many people in any wikiproject like their editing patterns analyzed as a bloc, WP:CIVIL does not require that one be flattering, bloc-like behavior a.k.a. WP:GANG is an actual recognized and condemned form of disruptive editing, and if I were forced to muckrake by name, I could easily do so with diffs. The fact that these problematic patterns have been involved is intrinsically important to the debate itself as a meta-issue (who exactly, and when, on what page are not actually important; the overreactive "holy war" behavior is the issue), so it inevitably comes up. Perhaps I'm not finding the perfect balance between diff-filled personal takings-to-task, which would be a pointless, battlegrounding grudgefest, and pretending nothing like these editing behaviors ever happened, which would simply doom us to withstand them again. I'm certainly making this less personal than ever before and going out of my way to anonymize and to address edits, not users. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 03:29, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Sandstein, re: "problematic conduct by the editors SMcCandlish appears to consider to be his opponents ... would need to be examined in a separate enforcement request, particularly because SMcCandlish's response does not contain diffs of potentially sanctionable behavior on the part of others." I have made no request for such enforcement; the birds issue has mostly been dormant and tempers about it have been relatively calm for about a year, until two parties tried to shoehorn it into the current discussion at WT:MOS about MOSCAPS and insects, as The Devil's Advocate noted. As I've said repeatedly here, I'm am studiously avoiding personalizing any such dispute, and a request for diffs to use for sanctioning other editors is a request for me to blatantly personalize it, so I do of course decline to stick my neck into such a trap, thanks. It would also be hypocritical of me to enable you to drag more editors into your "muzzle both sides of the dispute so I can pretend there isn't one" plan. PS: I never said I "consider [them or anyone] to be [my] opponents." Peter coxhead, for example, and I get along just fine on other issues, and I've had interesting conversations with other participants at WP:BIRDS (where I've contributed non-trivially to the nomenclature and taxonomy wording itself!). — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 11:25, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Joy [shallot]: There are actually two discussions going on at WT:MOS that are relevant (one important, and one just noise). The former is about the issue that MOSCAPS is directly contradicting its parent page at MOS (specifically MOS:LIFE), by suggesting that MOS:LIFE does not apply to certain insect species, when MOS overrode the idea, on purpose, of wikiproject-specific capitalization or lower-casing, because the vast majority of reliable sources, general and specialized, in all fields do not capitalize, and it was causing serious stability and editwarring problems (at one point even "Lion" was being capitalized, I kid you not). This effort at synchronization, which is essentially required by MOS's own statement that it supersedes its subpages, and WP:LOCALCONSENSUS policy, is being filibustered by lamentation that MOS itself should change to permit arbitrary capitalization of this sort and to otherwise be descriptive instead of prescriptive. Yet this is what consensus at MOS already rejected in 2008, again around this time last year at WT:MOS in a very long debate, and various other times and places in-between. There is no actual proposal on the table to change MOS on this point. So the filibustering is exceedingly tedious and frustrating. It's a red herring, a distraction. And it's not backed by any consensus; there was no discussion at WP:INSECTS, where this "capitalize certain bugs" idea first popped up, or at MOSCAPS about adding it. Someone just did it, back when no one really cared. MOS overrode this with MOS:LIFE in 2008. No one bothered to update MOSLIFE. I'm bothering. I make no disruptive editing claims or raise any other WP:AE issues against people in that discussion.

    The second debate is about capitalization of bird names, because any time MOS:LIFE comes up people seem to want to argue about birds and the controversy that's plagued WIkipedia about this for over 8 years running, and the behavioral issues that have come up in previous iterations of that debate, especially the Feb.-March 2011 one. This is the discussion I have tried hard to depersonalize by addressing only the disruptive behavior patterns, not specific editors, and the arguments being presented, as well as refactoring it out of the original MOSCAPS-and-insects thread. The perennial pro-bird-caps argument is "it's universal in ornithology!", which I've already proven untrue, because the Journal of Ornithology itself, one of the most prestigious in that field, does require this capitalization. Non-ornithological publications almost never permit such capitalization, including zoology and general science journals, even in ornithological articles, as well as newspapers, magazines, dictionaries, other encyclopedias, basically everything but most ornithology journals. The idea that ornithology journals are magically more reliable about how to style English-language prose than all other sources any time birds are mentioned is exceedingly fallacious, and is shown to be so every single time the debate comes up, but those demanding this capitalization simply pretend this didn't happen, and recycle their same old arguments, necessitating yet another round of long-winded refutation). But that's all neither here nor there. Everyone is tired half to death of the birds dispute. MOS itself just notes that it's an extant controversy and asks that editors not editwar over it. MOSCAPS does the same. There is no active proposal to change this situation, and there is no conflict between MOSCAPS and MOS with regard to birds. The imposition of bird-related arguments on the MOSCAPS-and-insects discussion was just a topic change that was miring the debate. I hope this clarifies things.

  • @Neotarf: Just to be clear, the "substance of [my] remarks" that need to be addressed is that MOSCAPS has blatantly WP:POVFORKed from MOS in a way that violates WP:LOCALCONSENSUS policy. I am not bringing any actionable complaints with regard to anyone in the dispute (not the real dispute, about MOSCAPS-and-insects vs. MOS, and not the rehashed argumentation about birds). I've been careful not to single anyone out individually for personal scrutiny with regard to these debates. (On the other hand, I contend that Sandstein and SarekOfVulcan should certainly be subject to some scrutiny for their obvious and worsening WP:HOUNDING campaign against me.) — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 01:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Enric Naval, @LittleBenW: You neglected to disclose our past history at AN/ANI. But of course my having opposed and criticized you there couldn't possibly have any effect on why you would comment here or what you might say. [LittleBenW was in fact topic-banned from a MOS issue in part because of my testimony or whatever you want to call this process-y stuff, and is hardly in a position to lecture.] — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 10:29, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

    NB: LittleBenW's two "cut-and-paste wall-of-text personal attack" accusations below actually trigger the discretionary sanctions, even as interpreted by Sandstein, as they are vague aspersions unsupported by evidence (the link he provides in one case does not support his claim, as it has nothing to do with a "wall of text", much less a cut-and-pasted one, and no NPA violation was present. But please don't sanction him for it. WP is getting far too censorious and angsty of late. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 11:20, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

  • @Joy [shallot], et al.: I get the point. I will try to be more concise and assume better faith (even when WP:DUCK and WP:SPADE seem to apply). But I'm not the one who made ARBCOM (incl. AE) a blatantly adversarial, excessively legalistic accusation–defense process. Especially given the highly personal and prosecutorial attitude being brought by Sandstein against me for weeks now, expecting me to respond with trivial little one-liners or just remain silent is not practicable. Looking back up there I do see that I wrote a lot more than I thought I did, and I'm sorry if it's a tedious read for the more neutrally minded parties here who are trying to figure both sides of the situation out, instead of arriving with already-made-up minds (though part of the problem is that this non-threaded format here artificially forces my responses to everyone else to form a monolithic "wall").

    Sandstein's newly excessive proposal to censor me to short posts only is a purely punitive, public-humiliation idea. There is no policy basis, and no ARBCOM precedent, for dictating a specific number of characters or bytes or clauses an editor can type at once; it's just an irrational and ultimately truly ad hominem idea, like threatening an editor with a block if they use the subjunctive or passive voice just because Sandstein thinks they do so too much or incorrectly. I'm the one being pilloried for alleged battlegrounding and not shutting up, but these criticisms WP:BOOMERANG severely on Sandstein, who just will not drop his dogged insistence on cutting my tongue out and being the one to wield the knife personally. Nice show of administrative neutrality, maturity and trustworthiness. We trust admins, a lot, to do what's right by the community, not make up arbitrary punishments to get back at people because they don't like longwinded discussions about style quirks, or hound editors they don't like until they quit Wikipedia or end up censored into a dark pit. If anyone needs a topic-ban from MOS, it's surely Sandstein, because he's simply intolerant of style debates. :-/ Seriously, though, many of the issues I deal with in source disputes and other content matters on articles' talk pages cannot be addressed with short, undetailed responses, and neither can most MOS matters (not that I edit there all the time anyway; sometimes I ignore WT:MOS for months at a time). I am hearing you that I've been too strident and too wordy. I'll work on it. I hope that no further response here is needed, as I certainly consider myself clearly warned at this point (and by some admins who are not obviously personally involved like Sandstein). However, there is clearly no consensus for a topic ban or any other heavy-handed response such as Sandstein keeps pushing. This is the third time the majority of respondents to Sandstein's actions or proposed actions against me, in as many weeks, have been negative and critical (cf. the Apteva vs. Noetica AE request and Sandstein's false accusation a.k.a. "warning" stemming from it, and the abortive SarekOfVulcan vs. SMcCandlish AE a week or so later, which Sandstein wanted to personally close with sanctions against me). I concede that many responses have also clearly indicated I need to chill out. I'm getting the message. Sandstein certainly is not, but is instead getting more shrill, more personally involved, and less reasonable the longer he tries to abuse me as spectacle of paraded, vindictive punishment. If I actually had any stomach for all this legalistic roleplaying, we'd already be at RFARB with me as a plaintiff, on WP:HARASSMENT grounds, among others. But I have better things to do with my own volunteer time, and my time in general, which are being wasted by this just as much as yours. I apologize for my share of the responsibility for it coming to this, and for being unnecessarily gruff at WT:MOS. I'm liable to mostly or entirely take a break from MOS, after the matter of MOSCAPS going off into WP:POVFORKland from MOS is resolved. (PS: Tony1 is correct that people have been going out of their way to pick fights with me, but the order of the month seems to be "shut SMcCandlish down at all costs", so who cares, right?) — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 10:29, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

  • (EC), @Gatoclass: Thanks for the "a specific restriction...might be too easily WP:GAMED by adversaries" observation. You can bet it would be; someone's surely counting on it, given just what's happened in the last few weeks. Thanks also for the "this is not a court of law" reminder, too. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 10:46, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

    PS: My understanding is that if anyone demonstrated at ANI or wherever, against the diffs I can provide that will back me up, that I egregiously violated AGF and/or NPA at the WT:MOS discussion, then the discretionary sanctions would automatically apply anyway. So even singling me out for a "double-secret-probation" in the form of an AGF/NPA token restriction would thus serve nothing but a stigmatizing, example-making function, and we all know that AE and ArbCom more generally do not exist for punitive reasons. I already consider myself duly encouraged and advised on how to avoid further issues with my MOS-related posts. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 11:04, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

  • @John Carter: Thanks, and your criticisms are fair enough, with one exception: Actual ad hominem would require that I try to use attacks of a personal nature as a substitute for addressing the actual argument. To the contrary, I've already conceded the vague and not too clearly actionable basic complaint here, of my having been too irritable at WT:MOS. To the extent you're referring to my criticisms of Sandstein, I did assume good faith on Sandstein's part, but he has pushed my ability to do so beyond any reasonable limits, by repeatedly and implacably pursuing excessive and weirdly personal punishments not long after I asked him to retract a proven false accusation about me. (That doesn't mean I'm certain it's bad faith; there's a wide grey area of well-intended actions that are overreactive, too intemperate/punitive, interest-conflicted, etc.). I've given multiple reasons why Sandstein's urging on this matter is inappropriate and seeks inappropriate results, and should thus be discounted. That's not ad hominem or a personal attack, but a perfectly normal thing to do at AE in a such a situation. Anyway, I already take the essentially coinciding aspects of your, Gatoclass's and Joy [shallot]'s comments as an "advisory statement regarding AGF and NPA".
  • @Black Kite: A topic-ban from mentioning WP:BIRDS is precisely the kind of "too easily gamed" situation Gatoclass warned of. (To exclude me from any discussion about anything if style is involved, just introduce WP:BIRDS extraneously to the discussion! My even commenting that adding WP:BIRDS seemed off-topic would violate the ban.) It is virtually impossible to discuss how capitalization and various other style issues relate to taxonomy on WP without specific fields of biology and their relevant wikiprojects being discussed. I couldn't have written WP:Manual of Style/Organisms under such an odd restriction. A topic ban would also raise process issues.
  • @Gatoclass: I can live with your suggested close, and understand why you would conclude in that way. However, I think it's a bad precedent to credit Sandstein explicitly in it, for two reasons. 1) It would unduly prejudice my ongoing dispute, presently located at ARCA, in Sandstein's favor (even more than it already is simply by virtue of me challenging an admin's judgment). 2) It would also appear to officially approve of a level of involvement and prosecutorial approach that have been criticized or questioned by others (including admins) here and at all the related discussions (the previous AE by SarekOfVulcan, WP:ARCA, User talk:Sandstein, and probably somewhere else I'm forgetting). I've not asked for any kind of action against Sandstein, but please, that kind of dogged pursuit in the face of third-party concerns surely must not be unilaterally rewarded, as if to imply those concerns were never raised or can't be valid. Whether Sandstein's actions have been entirely righteous with regard to me is still an open question, and this isn't the venue for settling that (as John Carter reminded), especially not just as some off-hand adjunct to closing this AE request.

    SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 09:34, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

  • @Sandstein: Your "even if this means that we may be back here before long" jab is a patent assumption of bad faith and a personal attack (not to mention snide, presumptuous and arrogant). So is your unproven accusation of WP:OWN violation. It's also personalizing a MOS-related dispute by vague aspersions without proof, i.e. a violation of the ARBATC terms you so badly want to be enforce. There's an enormous leap between the general complaint here, which I've even conceded (without anyone actually proving that any particular edit of mine was an NPA, CIVIL or AGF violation, I might add), to wit that I haven't been collegial or brief enough in the particular MOS-related discussion Enric Naval responded to with this AE request, on the one hand, and an unmistakeable accusation of WP:OWNership on the other. I reiterate that you are self-evidently far too personally invested in going after me to be participating in an administrative capacity in anything to do with me, Sandstein. @John Carter: Sandstein's sarcastic commentary is an actual ad hominem attack (baseless or irrelevant character assassination used as a fallacious debate technique to distract, dismiss or alter course in an argument). — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 22:28, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Comments by others about the request concerning SMcCandlish[edit]

  • SMcCandlish's WP:BATTLEGROUND approach to the MOS needs to stop, and he has to work constructively with people who disagree with him. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 03:42, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately it's impossible not to agree that SMcCandlish's language directed at some editors is unacceptable. (I could easily add other examples to the list above.) I say "unfortunately" because he has done some excellent and demanding work to the benefit of Wikipedia, e.g. putting together material from separate fauna and flora pages and expanding and clarifying it at the proposed MOS:ORGANISMS. For this reason I do not believe he should be prevented from contributing to MOS-related discussions. But he must take WP:AGF to heart and accept that a lively debate is possible between editors with very different views without any personal comments directed at opponents, however justified the comments may seem to him to be. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:48, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • SMcCandlish and others will probably be disgusted that I couldn't give a toss about bird names. Sorry. In my occasional flicks through MoS, it appears to me that he speaks plainly, which might upset a few people; but strong debaters are what makes WP a dynamic environment, and he's got the intellect to do this. I've known him for many years, and although we don't always agree, I really respect his contributions, his talent, and his ability to interact productively. I'm suspicious that it's the same crew here piling on complaints about this valuable editor. They seem to act in a pack, which is disappointing. Could everyone take a step back, please? Here's space to denigrate me, guys, just below my signature ↓ Tony (talk) 11:51, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

    Response to Hans Adler below: Yep, Sandstein has now lost my confidence. Tony (talk) 14:08, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

    • I too greatly respect SMcCandlish's contributions and talent and very much want to see him continuing to edit productively; he's a valuable editor without doubt. Plain speaking and strong debates are fine; I'm happy to join in and have had productive discussions with him. But this doesn't justify using language like handfuls of editors who act as blocs, "police brotherhood" types in the increasingly elitist "admin community", A gaggle of people who didn't get what they want. I'm not part of a "pack"; I'd just like SMcCandlish to recognize that his language is inappropriate and discourages others from participating in MOS debates. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:33, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Like Peter, I think that SMcCandlish does a lot of good work around here. He has done time-consuming marshaling of facts in discussions about whether common names should be capitalized, and in many other areas, and it would be a shame to lose his insights at MOS. I do wish he would keep his posts focused on the facts, though, and remember to assume good faith and not try to characterize the motivations of other editors (which, in my opinion, personalizes a conversation, even without naming names.) Tdslk (talk) 18:34, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

    Also, I don't think that Sandstein should be passing judgement in this case. While Sandstein may technically not meet the requirements to be WP:INVOLVED, given the ongoing WP:ARCA case it seems to me that other admins should handle this one. Tdslk (talk) 18:44, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

  • I find it disturbing that some people are trying to shut SMcCandlish up instead of addressing the substance of his remarks. —Neotarf (talk) 13:56, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Indeed. But Sandstein, to address your latest question, I think long-established editors such as SMc feel belittled by a week's or a month's topic ban. And to put this in perspective, I'm surprised you're not at MOSNUM talk looking into the highly personalised and chronic disputes about main units (imperial vs SI). They turn other editors off participating, and a few people there could do with a solid warning; why the focus on SMc when MOSNUM talk is (or was when I last looked) such an unpleasant place?

      As far as SMc is concerned, you might, as a senior admin, be inclined to suggest that he write much shorter posts (the walls of text do irritate a few editors); and to diff a few specific posts/quotes that you believe he should not have made, or should have been made in a different way, and suggest that if he doesn't take a more collegial line, you will take action in the future. I note that a few editors appear to have had some success in goading him, in winding him up. It's very difficult to pull back when this is used as a strategy. This is precisely the context in which we need admin to take constructive, not destructive, action: in short, by reasoning, suggesting, rather than apply punitive and belittling sanctions? It might be a waste of time with vandals and anti-social newbies, but not here.

      CoI disclosure: I am a wikifriend of SMc. Tony (talk) 08:27, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

      • There was a time when if you had an issue with another editor, you would take it to their talk page and try to resolve it there, but these days that kind of courtesy is only for vandals. Everyone these days just goes straight for arbcom. —Neotarf (talk) 13:17, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
        • Past interactions with him suggest to me that I can't communicate with effectively. I just can't get my thoughts across to him. I just can't make him understand that he is shooting his own foot really hard by dropping potshots all the time at people we have disputes with in the past. It's just counterproductive, for him, for others, and for the general ambient in the talk page. He just can't expect to agree with him about everything, even if he is really really really sure that he is right. And he can't keep dropping potshots at those who happened to resist successfully one of his efforts in the past. --Enric Naval (talk) 23:23, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
          • Whether it's a cut-and-paste wall-of-text personal attack that mentions or accuses a person by name but is not true, such as this, or a cut-and-paste wall-of-text ad hominem smear attack aimed at everybody who disagrees with him, but—as no names are mentioned—cannot be proven or disproven, a personal attack is a personal attack. Maybe the conclusion has to be similar to that for Malleus: it doesn't matter how brilliant you are (or think you are) if you can't play nicely with other people and can't learn to practice the Golden Rule. Survival of the community, and survival of the community spirit, is surely more important than the survival of any single individual. LittleBen (talk) 07:19, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Has Sandstein actually communicated directly with SMcCandlish, or is it just rule by remote sledgehammer? No wonder we're losing experienced editors. Tony (talk) 11:28, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Er, shouldn't there be an RFC/U or something? There was one for Apteva. —Neotarf (talk) 15:58, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - Okay, I managed to find Sandstein's warning on SMc Talk against "broad allegations of severe personal misconduct on the part of several editors" that Enric linked to 08:27, 2 February 2013. This makes slightly more sense of Enric Lavals 7 diffs 8-23 Feb which contain references to what sounds like a past LOCALCONSENSUS clash between a project about birds and MOS regulars. However the 7 diffs still don't bear out "if there were any indication of SMcCandlish being able to react positively to advice about his conduct." These 7 diffs are pretty mild, no names, no ad hominems, and if there was worse before then the 7 diffs only indicate that SMc is taking advice, so where is the problem? It doesn't add up. Again, the wall of text is probably counterproductive, but can anyone see actual ad hominems embedded in the wall? In ictu oculi (talk) 10:00, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Hans Adler[edit]

From a broader point of view it is encouraging to see Sandstein continuing to dig his own grave (more precisely: his adminship's). I have long felt that his wikilawyering power trips probably make him a net negative influence on the project. But I am worried about the possibility of further collateral damage in this particular dispute. Maybe Arbcom would like to have a quiet word with Sandstein? I am beginning to believe that he is acting in good faith and really just doesn't get it. Hans Adler 14:05, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

PS: "[...] if there were any indication of SMcCandlish being able to react positively to advice about his conduct." Wow. Sandstein, see psychological projection and WP:KETTLE if you really don't understand why that sort of comment coming from you is seriously unhelpful. Hans Adler 07:43, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
PPS: "We should not be seen as applying different standards to different groups of users – that is, ready topic bans for our typical clientele of socially isolated nationalist warriors for truth (see most other requests on this page and in the archives), but lenient treatment for socially well-connected people, veteran editors or administrators who edit 'respectable' topics, but exhibit the same attitude."
Too true. In particular, it is high time that Sandstein's standards for other people are applied to Sandstein himself. Hans Adler 20:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
... and Sandstein is continuing to exhibit some of the behaviour of which he accuses SMcCandlish. It appears that in his mind he is allowed to misbehave in this dispute because he only started his vindictive powertrip after becoming involved as an uninvolved admin. Adminship as the licence to committing a perfect crime. But that's not how it works. Hans Adler 23:12, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by The Devil's Advocate[edit]

Looks to me like the events played out as such: SMc raised reasonable concerns regarding information on the MOS pages and possible conflict between two of the pages. Peter coxhead, makes a suggestion, but mostly uses his response to rattle on about how MOS bad. SMc responds with his comments about WP:BIRDS and Quale responds with general soapboxing against MOS and MOS "denizens" inflaming the dispute further. Context matters in this situation as others were serving to inflame the dispute, taking it off-track from what it was initially about.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 18:39, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Ohconfucius[edit]

  • Most of the time on style and policy talk pages, Stanton talks a lot of solid common sense. With just one of his many comments, he can debunk medicine men and quacks, and pierce through an almost infinite layer of bullshit and lawyering in such a way that I can never hope to achieve. He often quite forthright and may write a bit too much or post too frequently for his efforts to achieve optimal effect. He may have a tendency to hyperbole and to overdramatise, for I don't find the naming of birds worthy of the amount of noise it has generated, but that's about the only thing Stanton's guilty of, IMHO. I disagree that his posts are "too personal", for it is not possible to supply evidence in diffs and not collaterally reveal the identity of a party to a given discussion.

    And FWIW, I don't consider Sandstein's last "warning" to have any validity. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 02:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Johnuniq[edit]

I would like to support the excellent statement by Gatoclass at 10:22, 27 February 2013. Thank you Gatoclass for taking the time to explain what AE should be about—protecting the encyclopedia, weeding out destructive editors, and protecting those who are constructive. Admins need to nurture the encyclopedia by encouraging those editors who assist it, not whack each participant an equal number of times. Johnuniq (talk) 10:48, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Statement by -sche[edit]

  • I agree with the wall of text comment Joy made at 11:18, 25 February 2013, and with the comment Gatoclass made at 09:15, 26 February 2013.
  • As war is (said to be) just the continuation of politics by other means, this long discussion and the one which preceded it seem to be just a bureaucratic continuation of a long-running battle over the MOS—one which is distracting everyone from being productive, or at least from editing Wikipedia articles. -sche (talk) 03:55, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Result concerning SMcCandlish[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

The request has merit. As a party to the original case, WP:ARBATC, and by way of my AE warning of 1 February 2013 and another AE request of 8 February 2013, SMcCandlish has been reminded multiple times that the manual of style (MOS) is not a battleground. However, as this request shows, SMcCandlish continues to treat it as one, notably by personalizing stylistic disagreements by ascribing disruptive intent to other editors (whether named or not). This is reflected in the diffs cited as evidence ("members of WP:BIRDS massively canvassed, disrupted ... abused ..."; "certain unbearably tendentious editors refuse to 'accept'", "excessively loud holy-hell-raising be a tiny number of tendentious editors", "disrupting WP for nine years in a tendentious campaign") but also in his response to this request, where he characterizes his actions as "helping protect MOS and thereby Wikipedia's stability and usability from tendentious special interests and their pet peeves". This reflects an absolute "right versus wrong" attitude that is entirely inappropriate not only as an approach to disagreements in a collaborative project generally, but to disagreements about matters of style particularly. In addition, I have had the opportunity, in the course of the AE discussions mentioned above, to observe that this extraordinarily confrontative, personalizing (and long-winded) way of expressing himself is a hallmark of SMcCandlish's approach to disagreements, such that I can safely conclude that the edits reported here are not isolated incidents but part of a consistent behavior pattern.

I consider that this behavior is strongly detrimental to the collaborative development and maintenance of the MOS. Consequently, if there are no compelling objections by other uninvolved administrators, I intend to ban SMcCandlish, initially for a year, from making any edits related to the MOS (excluding references to the MOS, as it is then in force, in discussing specific edits to articles).

This proposed sanction is not to be taken as disregard for or an endorsement of any problematic conduct by the editors SMcCandlish appears to consider to be his opponents. But any such misconduct by the "other side" would need to be examined in a separate enforcement request, particularly because SMcCandlish's response does not contain diffs of potentially sanctionable behavior on the part of others.  Sandstein  12:52, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

SMcCandlish, above, argues that I am too involved to act as an uninvolved administrator here. I disagree. Per WP:INVOLVED, "an administrator who has interacted with an editor or topic area purely in an administrative role, or whose prior involvements are minor or obvious edits which do not speak to bias, is not involved and is not prevented from acting in an administrative capacity in relation to that editor or topic area. This is because one of the roles of administrators is precisely to deal with such matters, at length if necessary. Warnings, calm and reasonable discussion and explanation of those warnings, advice about community norms, and suggestions on possible wordings and approaches do not make an administrator 'involved'." In this case, I have interacted with SMcCandlish only in the administrative capacity envisioned by that policy provision – that is, by warning him. The fact that SMcCandlish strongly objects to this warning, as he has every right to, and that others may also disagree with it, does not make me involved. Accordingly, I decline to recuse myself in this case.  Sandstein  13:12, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
This is just a quick response as I must log off quickly, but at first glance I could not support such a sanction. Without going into further detail, my only other comment at this point would be that good faith, competent editors whose skills and value to the project are recognized by other editors in good standing, should only be subject to bans, particularly long bans, as a last resort, and my impression at this stage is that we are far from that point with regard to SMcCandlish. Once again, apologies for the brevity of this response, I will probably have more to say with regard to this case tomorrow. Gatoclass (talk) 14:24, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • The appeal to All parties reminded should have been accompanied with a link to the diffs to edits; all the links posted thus far are to Talk. I had a quick look and it looks like the edits by SMcCandlish to the MoS itself were made on 5 and 6 February 2013, and they were ultimately only partially reverted by SarekOfVulcan [3].
I've just read the first forty kilobytes (!) of Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Conflict between MOS:CAPS and MOS and I see how SMcCandlish can be perceived as excessively confrontational. Nevertheless, the gist of his argument seems to be that people are repetitively making generalized claims about uppercasing founded in a professed allegiance to reliable sources, but without backing them up with actual references; in that discussion, I saw him drop a few few names - Nature, Science and Journal of Ornithology, but no equivalent from the opposition. This seems like a fairly legitimate reason for him to be upset at the opposition. Maybe I didn't read that right, and I already admitted to having stopped reading after a while - I have to say it's SMcCandlish's general long-windedness that is the main reason for that. (Note to the requestor - if you think the other party is 'drowning' you in a discussion with mere volume, it's best for you to try to ignore that and nevertheless state your argument clearly and concisely.) On that note, the quoted parts of the request appear to be incriminating in and of themselves, but they're actually a really small part of what SMcCandlish wrote, for better or for worse. (Note to the requestor - provide a descriptive context next time to avoid the impression you're cherry-picking quotes.)
Overall, I don't yet see how SMcCandlish is being so egregiously disruptive to be e.g. topic-banned. His long rants are annoying to read, but he doesn't appear to be abusing the system, instead it looks like he's making a good-faith effort to prevent the system from being abused by others. It's very easy for this to appear like he's being attacked here because of his style as a means to undermine the otherwise sound substance of his argument. (Note to the requestor - it would actually have helped if someone actually fully contested the contentious edits at MoS; it's not clear if this was just a courteous unwillingness to engage in an edit war or actual backing down; SMcCandlish's dispute tag removed by SarekOfVulcan was restored by -sche so it appears that it has more merit than not. It would also have been helpful if someone else had done the legwork of fishing all this out of the page history.)
Again, I've only just read a part of this, I probably don't have a lot of experience at AE, it looks to me like I've got a sample decent enough to comment on; if not, please feel free to clarify. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
SMcCandlish, yes, I understood all this already (except the detail about the Journal of Ornithology, but it doesn't matter, my main point stands - it was you who had mentioned it). You needn't have written yet another long summary, because it's frankly making you look like you just can't shut up. (Sorry.) I don't think it's grounds for censure, but it's not good, either. For example, your statement here is now over 30 KB of text. I realize you have a lot to say, but please try to be concise, because volunteer time is being spent on reading what you write, and the supply of that is not endless. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 08:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
My apologies for not getting back to this one sooner, I couldn't find the time yesterday. A review of the discussion in this request thus far indicates no support for a topic ban at this time. I too have read a fair bit of the talk page discussion that led to this request, it read to me mostly like a genuine content dispute. However, I also agree with some of the contributors to this discussion, and with Joy above, that SMcCandlish is still too fond of "commenting on contributor" in his talk page responses. This may simply be a miscommunication issue - SMcCandlish has after all been contributing to MOS discussions for a long period, and probably hasn't fully adjusted yet to the fact that once a topic area becomes subject to discretionary sanctions, comments on contributor are scrutinized far more closely and are always a potential trigger for administrative intervention. I do think, however, that his demeanour on talk pages has improved significantly since the RFA comments that came to attention earlier, and there is no reason to suppose at this point that it cannot continue to improve given the right advice. I am therefore leaning to an advisement with regard to this request, coupled perhaps with a warning that failure to make appropriate changes may lead to sanctions in future. Gatoclass (talk) 05:45, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the underlying MOS dispute is a content dispute, which is why it is immaterial here who has the better-founded position in it - arbitration and by extension AE is about conduct, not content. The approach you propose could work if there were any indication of SMcCandlish being able to react positively to advice about his conduct. His demeanor here indicates rather the opposite, and I'm not sure that it has improved since the RfA - it is less focused on individual other editors, true, but still reflects a battleground mentality (as well as an ownership attitude to the MOS, particularly in his responses here) and thereby deters others from participating in the discussions he partakes in. As such, I believe that corrective action is needed to prevent this situation from repeating. Perhaps a shorter topic ban, a week or a month, would help him find the motivation to be more collegial in discussions?  Sandstein  06:09, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
As I said, I don't see any support for a ban from other participants in this request ATM, so I still think a ban would be premature. Regarding SMcCandlish's demeanour during this request, I like many others am less than enamoured with some of his "wall of text" responses but they are probably at least in part generated by anxiety concerning a possible sanction; nonetheless I do see some evidence of adaptability, for example his testimony that he has studiously avoided commenting on individuals since the last case, which indicates to me that he will be capable of further adaptation if pointed in the right direction. Gatoclass (talk) 09:15, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Generally in agreement with Gatoclass. There is far too much commentary on the contributor by SMcC. This has to stop. I don't see this instance as necessitating a ban however there have been enough warnings and enough advice given to this user. If SMcC does not stop writing walls of text and commenting ad hominem or replacing ad hominem with vague indirect aspersions of misconduct (which are just as prohibitted as direct ad hominem BTW) then action must be taken. SMcC's anxiety over a possible sanction is best solved by not engaging in this conduct becuase he's walking a tight rope with the conduct as presented in this case. Support a final warning/caution but only as an absolutely final warning, any further misconduct is unacceptable--Cailil talk 11:01, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Generally agreed, but I'm opposed to closing this with yet another warning. We've not seen one iota of understanding on the part of SMcCandlish that his mode of conduct in MOS discussions (which includes a battleground approach to disagreement as well as the textwalling highlighted by several people above) is not acceptable, as is his complete refusal to accept every instance of good-faith guidance and warnings by administrators, as provided for by ArbCom for this topic area. Without such understanding, any warning will fall on deaf ears and invariably lead to a repeat performance here. Our normal remedy for persistent battleground attitudes are lengthy topic bans, and that remains my preferred option. We should not be seen as applying different standards to different groups of users – that is, ready topic bans for our typical clientele of socially isolated nationalist warriors for truth (see most other requests on this page and in the archives), but lenient treatment for socially well-connected people, veteran editors or administrators who edit "respectable" topics, but exhibit the same attitude.

Failing that, as a minimum, any warning should be imposed as a binding editing restriction that enables the prompt prevention of continued misconduct without yet another of these time-wasting mini-RfAr threads. For example, SMcCandlish could be expressly forbidden, in edits related to the MOS, to express assumptions of bad faith on the part of others, make personal attacks, be uncivil or otherwise comment on contributors rather than content, as well as from making contributions to discussions that are noticeably and substantially longer than those of all other discussants.  Sandstein  20:18, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

We should not be seen as applying different standards to different groups of users. As a general principle, I think the notion alluded to here, of applying justice without fear or favour, is a fine one. However, this is not a court of law, and in my view the principal purpose of dispute resolution on this project is not to apply some lofty standard of impartial justice, but to protect the encyclopedia. In practice this means weeding out the destructive editors and protecting the constructive ones. In the case of editors who fall somewhere in between (which one way or another, probably includes most of us) the object IMO should be to find ways to encourage the positive contributions while discouraging the negative. So I'm not overly concerned about applying a different "standard" to the latter type of editor, or more accurately, giving such editors a second chance or two. After all, doesn't even the law take mitigating circumstances into account?
However, this is not the appropriate venue for a debate of that kind. With regard to the case in hand, I've already given my reasons why I think SMcCandlish could be given a little more time to adapt and don't need to repeat them. With regard to your suggested "binding restrictions", I could probably support those related to AGF and NPA, I'd be a little uncomfortable about the others and would probably settle for an encouragement or advisement rather than a specific restriction as the latter might be too easily WP:GAMED by adversaries. Gatoclass (talk) 10:22, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Basically, agree that there is no clear reason based on the evidence presented for sanctions at this time. Having said that, I find it rather irksome that in his statement of 10:29 on the 27th SMcCandlish says he's getting the message about overly long comments in a comment which itself might not unreasonably be said to be probably overly long and involve rather a lot of ad hominem commentary/attack which is probably not particularly useful in this context. I know that there is often a perception of having to respond point-by-point to comments made against one, and I can also understand that he might feel justified in contacting ArbCom or others regarding what he perceives as their misconduct. That's fine. But it does no good to say that on this page. Cailil is right in saying this sort of thing has to stop. I'm not myself sure that a concluding statement to that effect would necessarily be useful, with possible exceptions regarding AGF and NPA, because as Gatoclass indicates a broader "warning" could be rather easily gamable, but do think that maybe some sort of advisory statement regarding AGF and NPA which also indicates that continuing in the dubious conduct displayed here in the future is unlikely to receive understanding and sympathetic responses would be reasonable. John Carter (talk) 16:40, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Just a thought; since the WT:BIRDS issue is the arena in which this editor is being clearly and obviously problematic, would it be possible to issue a topic ban in that area only? This would allow him to still comment on general WP:MOS issues without straying into the areas where any incivilty may have seen to be occurring. Black Kite (talk) 01:43, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
That looks to me like a potential can of worms which at this stage in the discussion it might be best to avoid. If there are no objections within the next 24 hours, I think I will close this request with a prohibition regarding breaches of WP:AGF by SMcCandlish in MOS-related discussions per Sandstein's suggestion, coupled with advisements regarding the other issues canvassed by Sandstein in his most recent post above, as suggested by John Carter. Gatoclass (talk) 02:29, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Fair point; I don't agree with Sandstein's proposed sanction but I do believe there are problems here (especially with SMC's obvious issue with WP:BIRDS) and so I was trying to negotiate a middle ground. Black Kite (talk) 20:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this would work well either. Considering the previous requests, it seems that SMcCandlish's behavioral problems have to do with reacting to disagreement and a sense of ownership generally, rather than anything project-specific, and some of the edits reported here relate to the birds project only tangentially, if at all. Gatoclass, I'd have preferred a more substantial restriction, but considering that my colleagues here don't think that the ban I initially intended is appropriate at this juncture, I suppose it's probably better that you close the thread in the manner you suggest, even if this means that we may be back here before long.  Sandstein  21:17, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by POVbrigand[edit]

Appeal declined.  Sandstein  07:03, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

To help determine any such consensus, involved editors may make brief statements in separate sections but should not edit the section for discussion among uninvolved editors. Editors are normally considered involved if they are in a current dispute with the sanctioning or sanctioned editor, or have taken part in disputes (if any) related to the contested enforcement action. Administrators having taken administrative actions are not normally considered involved for this reason alone (see WP:UNINVOLVED).

Appealing user 
POVbrigand (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)POVbrigand (talk) 11:38, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
Indefinitely banned from all articles and discussions related to cold fusion or fringe sciences, with an appeal contingent on the user publicly revealing their old account(s).
Administrator imposing the sanction 
The Blade of the Northern Lights (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator

Statement by POVbrigand[edit]

I would like to get the chance to show the community that a topic ban is no longer needed. My interest has always been to improve WP, make it more valuable for the readers. I do not want to waste my time or anybody else's time.

The appeal contingent that I publicly reveal my old account was discussed here User_talk:Roger_Davies/Archive_26#POVbrigand and as far as I understood no longer required, the account has since been retired.

I would like to add more explanation of why I think lifting my ban would not hurt WP.
I was banned because I started a pointy argument on the fringe noticeboard about the BaBar experiment being fringe. I wasted everybody's time with it. It was a stupid exercise. I apologized for that back then.
I do not want to waste anybody's time anymore.
My edit behaviour since I was topic banned is my normal "wikignome" edit behaviour that I had for many years on different wikiprojects before I started editing cold fusion. I do not want to return to my behaviour of endless arguments on cold fusion. I really had enough of that, but I do want to have the possibility to "legally" make small edits or brief comments on the talk page. I would like to propose a voluntary 1RR on cold fusion.
--POVbrigand (talk) 19:59, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
From the comments I see that it is highlighted that I make only a few edits since my topic ban and that I had an old account.
My normal edit behaviour has been for many years (with my old account on different wikiproject) that of a wikignome. Only Arbcom will be able to verify that, because they know the account.
This ban was imposed because I wasted time on the FTN. Now for many months I have not wasted anybody's time and I do not want to waste anybody's time in the future. And I have never wasted anybody's time on wikipedia before my foray into cold fusion.
I have made this appeal because I am confident that I can behave normally.
I can perfectly self restrict myself, there is no need for the ban anymore.
Give me a mentor, give me a 1RR, give me a "edit contigent per month" of cold fusion.
There are several edits I made to Cold fusion (or energy catalyzer) that still are in today, they must have been good edits then.
For instance a significant part of the Cold_fusion#Subsequent_research I brought in.
On Energy Catalyzer I had to work hard to get a bit about Yeong E. Kim in. please note what GRuban assessment was of my conduct there Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive109#Comment_by_mostly_uninvolved_GRuban
I am proud of the contributions I have made to wikipedia in the past.
I am ashamed that I couldn't "see it coming" back then. I have changed, it will not happen again.
There are some comments if this is the right place to appeal. I came to the conclusion that this is the first place to go for appeal Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee#BASC "The Ban Appeals Subcommittee (BASC) considers appeals from banned or blocked users, generally when all other avenues of appeal have been exhausted. " I thought the appeal here must be done before I can appeal to the BASC.

--POVbrigand (talk) 09:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by The Blade of the Northern Lights[edit]

Apologies for not commenting earlier; I've been completely detached from the normal goings-on around here and had to take some time to refresh my memory on this case. To the extent this appeal is directed at me, I decline it; Sandstein's rationale is essentially mine, so I won't repeat it except to emphasize that the very small number of edits since the imposition of the ban is discouraging. To the extent it's directed at other admins, I would advise them to decline it as well. Being an SPA isn't inherently a bad thing; however, when it's laced with the problems such as those demonstrated in the original thread, there needs to be strong evidence there won't be a recurrence upon allowing an editor back into the topic area. I see very little total editing from POVBrigand since the imposition of the band, and this statement does not address the issues laid out by Sandstein below. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:27, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by uninvolved A Question for Knowledge[edit]

POVbrigand: You're supposed to demonstrate that your topic ban is no longer needed before filing an appeal. We typically don't give second chances to topic-banned editors unless:

  1. They can demonstrate that they can work collaboratively in other areas of Wikipedia. (Bring a few articles GA or FA status, for example.)
  2. They can explain what went so horribly wrong the last time around.
  3. They can explain what they can do to prevent the same problems from happening again.

AE: Given the lack of the above, that POVbrigand is apparently an SPA, and that POVbrigand has virtually no contributions to Wikipedia since their topic-ban, I respectfully recommend that the AE admins decline this request. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:56, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by IRWolfie-[edit]

This editors constant POV pushing on this topic wasted everyones time (mine included) before he was topic banned. Consider also that this is not POVbrigand's only account, rather it is purely a SPA. This account is specifically to edit Cold Fusion and related articles [4]: "I found out that my account is best described as a Wikipedia:Single-purpose_account. I have / had another account since mid 2004 that I currently do not use. I might use it again after my interest for "cold fusion" goes away."

We currently have the fairly weird situation where this editor is topic banned, but we don't know his original account! I find this really puzzling, but one of the conditions for POVbrigand being able to make an appeal was that he reveal his previous account: [5]. There was no consensus at User_talk:Roger_Davies/Archive_26#POVbrigand that the requirement to reveal the account be removed (someone merely expressed their view on it, but that's not the same thing).

As an aside, perhaps can an arbcom member perhaps double check his other account to make sure it has not become active again in any future appeal? POVbrigand has broken his topic ban previously, and retiring your account isn't the same as closing it. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:44, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 2)[edit]

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by POVbrigand[edit]

Result of the appeal by POVbrigand[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I would decline this appeal on procedural grounds because it does not make an argument either (a) why The Blade of the Northern Lights should not have imposed the ban, or (b) that the appellant understands why the ban was imposed and what has changed in the meantime such that it is no longer necessary (see, by analogy, WP:GAB#Give a good reason for your unblock). It may be noteworthy that since the ban was imposed on 25 June 2012, POVbrigand has violated it on at least one occasion by editing Martin Fleischmann (a person associated with cold fusion research) on 5 August 2012. Additionally, POVbrigand has since made relatively few edits to other topic areas, which is not a good sign. If we decline the appeal on these grounds, we do not need to answer the question of whether we are competent to discuss it in the first place (cf. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment#Comment by Heim).  Sandstein  13:44, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
After consideration of the appeal as amended on 19:59, 4 March 2013, I would still decline it. Procedurally, I don't see why we should perform an in-depth review of a ban before the editor has even appealed it to the sanctioning administrator. On the merits, the original sanction seems to have been imposed, not only because of the pointiness, but also because POVbrigand was found to have been a single-purpose account with an obscure prior history of using other account(s) who was dedicated to advocating for a more favorable depiction of cold fusion, a fringe theory. The appeal does not address these problems, and in view of my observations above, I think that it's unlikely that lifting the ban will help improve Wikipedia's coverage of scientific topics.  Sandstein  23:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with Sandstein that we need to be convinced that something has changed since the topic ban was originally placed. The mere passage of time (during which POVbrigand made only a handful of edits to any other topic) is not enough. Regarding Sandstein's last comment: until Arbcom makes a new decision on the matter WP:AE is still one of the venues where topic bans can be appealed. In my opinion we are still a community discussion noticeboard as designated in the Trusilver decision. Search results indicate at least 50 appeals that have being handled here. Over the past three years Arbcom must have noticed that appeals were being handled at AE and they have made no objection to this practice. The appeals are not *required* to be here, they could also be made at ANI or AN, according to Trusilver. Before the Trusilver decision the process for appeals was more vague. EdJohnston (talk) 18:03, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I, too, see insufficient grounds for a successful appeal, as there is no substantial basis on which to determine that the past behaviour is unlikely to recur. So I do not support lifting this topic ban. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 09:37, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Considering that nobody supports this appeal, if that doesn't change, I'll close the request as declined in about 24 hours.  Sandstein  12:02, 7 March 2013 (UTC)


The request is dismissed as frivolous. The user who made it, SMcCandlish (talk · contribs), is topic-banned (per WP:TBAN) for one month from everything related to the Manual of Style.  Sandstein  18:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Request concerning Fyunck(click)[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 19:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Fyunck(click) (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
  • Withdrawn: I'm formally withdrawing this AE request, since no one thinks the recent evidence is actionable, and the other evidence is seen as too old to be useful. I also grow weary of being accused of bad faith. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 06:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation#All parties reminded and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation#Discretionary sanctions
Diffs – no longer relevant, since request was rescinded.
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 6 March 2013 Re-re-re-pushing an anti-diacritics agenda yet again, at WT:AT, with comment difficult to interpret except as jingoistic attack on non-native English speakers categorically, a WP:ARBATC violation. It relates strongly to posts from about a year ago:
  2. 1 March 2012 again categorically hostile toward non-native English speakers. Personalization of style/title disputes, including unsupported accusations of WP:TAGTEAMing by Swedish editors generallyl.
  3. My-way-or-the-highway statement the same day regarding his [mis]interpretation of policy as anti-diacritics.
  4. Another "personalizing" edit that same day, against an admin critical of anti-diacritics campaigning.
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. Not required, since WT:AT has a prominent WP:ARBATC warning atop it. But has been warned anyway:
  2. Warned on 16 November 2012 by HandsomeFella (talk · contribs) for editwarring about diacritics. Fyunck(click) reacted with noted hostility.
  3. Effectively warned on in November 2012 by being mentioned at and participating in a WP:ANI report against someone else topic-banned for diacritics editwarring.
  4. August 2012 warning, ignored, about bucking consensus in a diacritics-related WP:RM.
  5. Blocked in July 2012 for editwarring over diacritics. Etc., etc.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

The statement at issue is: "The only place I've seen huge amounts of diacritics is here on wikipedia, but with so many non-English-first editors these days that shift is to be expected." It seems to be a violation of WP:ARBATC's "personalizing style or title disputes" prohibition. While it could theoretically be interpreted as a poorly worded concession that Fyunck(click) recognizes per WP:BIAS that diacritics are valid in article titles and text, and is thus is announcing he'll WP:JUSTDROPIT, this is unfortunately clearly not actually the case; it's a condemnatory "there goes the neighborhood"-style complaint; the statement is juxtaposed in the same post with an array of rehashed anti-diacritics arguments, so it is certainly not any such concession. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 19:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC) Evidence added back after Sandstein deleted it; other material trimmed to make "room" for it. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 09:55, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

19:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC) by SMcCandlish.

Older and/or moot responses.

Sandstein, I don't have any interest in playing your WP:LAWYERish "I personally declare your AE request meaningless now because I shortened it myself to no longer make sense" games. Why you personally feel compelled to respond to any request here that has anything to do with MOS is, well, let's just call it an interesting question. I guess Fyunck(click) gets a free pass this time. <shrug> Maybe I shouldn't care, since I"m not Swedish. Oh, never mind; you don't even know what that refers to, since you deleted the evidence. <sigh> Actually, I added the evidence back in and trimmed the commentary about it; I guess I shouldn't theorize about why you didn't do that yourself instead of cutting out the part that matters. Hopefully someone uninvolved in MOS-bashing will take note of this request and actually act on it, other than by censoring it to be meaningless. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 09:55, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Update (in response to Joy asking): I think many of you are missing why the more recent Fyunck(click) statement, the one at actual issue here as a current AE problem, is objectionable. It is not a neutral observation, it's a dismissive/denigrating one that can be mistaken as neutral but only if its anti-diacritics context is ignored, and which mirrors a more clearly combatively-expressed sentiment I've quoted Fyunck(click) posting a year ago (the one especially targeting Swedes), and which is part of a generally WP:BATTLEGROUNDish stance on this style "issue". This AE request is not frivolous, and not made in bad faith, it's simply subtle/nuanced, and made on the basis of knowledge of Fyunck(click)'s prior problematic behavior on the topic. If the request is too nuanced, fine; just close the request with no action. There is no need for anyone to resort to threats of a topic ban against me, when I'm not in fact engaged in any editwarring, personal attacks, canvassing, or anything else problematic with regard to MOS/AT. I'm actually doing very productive MOS-related editing lately, with no disputation at all, e.g. at WP:WikiProject Animals/Article structure. Censorship is a crude hammer, and not every request here that fails to raise an issue AE admins collectively care to act on is a nail to be hit with it. I.e., "don't shoot the messenger." (PS: I have not made any claim that Sandstein is WP:INVOLVED with Fyunck(click). Rather, he is involved in an active, unresolved dispute with me at WP:ARCA that directly relates to him, me, MOS, and AE; his commenting as if an uninvolved admin, always with demands for sanctions against me, instead of simply as an editor with an opinion, on this request, and on the AEs involving me in Feb., are blatant conflicts of administrative interest.)SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 13:31, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Re-response to Joy: My initial opinion was that ARBATC's personalization-of-disputes clause applies to Fyunck(click)'s recent comment because of the pattern it seems to me to be a part of; AE regulars haven't agreed; the end. A "boomerang" block or ban being contemplated against me – perhaps solely because I have a clean block log despite rubbing certain people the wrong way – would be 100% punitive and just overkill. I realize you didn't say you were necessarily advocating such action yourself. However, I don't have a "grudge" against Fyunck(click) – we've had little interaction, and I did not bring him to AN/ANI, rather LittleBenW dragged Fyunck(click) into LittleBenW's own case there, which is when I noticed what I characterize as an anti-foreigner as well as anti-diacritics pattern, habitually overgeneralizing and condemnatory with regard to editors who aren't native English speakers and/or those who favor appropriate use of diacritics in article titles (he generally treats both kinds of editors as synonymous, a fallacious debate tactic), after being warned and even blocked for disruptive editing of one kind or another over diacritics. I'm being told it doesn't actually rise to AE level. Ergo, this case can simply be closed without any further fanfare. Being incorrect in my interpretation of ARBATC and its application in this instance is not "abusing" WP:AE, it's simply being incorrect. See also SarekOfVulcan's prior AE against me over my opposition to someone's RFA after they ranted against MOS twice in their opening RFA statement; no one took that AE seriously at all except maybe Sandstein, meanwhile various others questioned its faith and bandied about terms like "boomerang" against Sarek, but it closed with no action against any party. That was fine, and it's a good idea here, too. "Abusing" is the wrong verb tense anyway: It's not like I'm actively agitating for some kind of block or ban against Fyunck(click); even when filing this request I asked for there not to be one, only a warning against making anti-foreigner posts when going on about diacritics. A finding that I had abused (past tense) AE would be both incorrect and stale anyway. AE doesn't have any supposed block/ban-worthy bad faith behavior on my part to make some enforcement point about. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 00:32, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

@LittleBenW, re: "fraudulent, or malicious attack" – THat's three clear personal attacks by you against me in an MOS-related dispute, which is thus a patent violation of the ARBATC "personalization of MOS/AT disputes" prohibition, if it can be applied to an AE discussion, which Sandstein and some others insist that it can. While "frivolous" is a matter of opinion about the merits of the AE request I brought, "fraudulent" is a legal claim that isn't applicable here (this is the second time you've made unprovable, nonsense legal accusations against me, and you were almost indef-blocked for making a legal threat last time, remember?); "malicious" is undeniably a bad faith accusation (not just assumption); and "attack" is a claim of WP:NPA violation, but no one has actually demonstrated any such attack. Simply filing an AE request because the latest post in a pattern seemed to violate ARBATC isn't an "attack", it's a request for administrative enforcement of ARBCOM remedies, if they're applicable. A determination that they're not doesn't magically convert the request into an "attack". — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 06:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

@In Ictu Oculi: My now-rescinded request wasn't actually malformed, as WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation#All parties reminded is written generically about style/titles disputes, not the specifics of the ARBATC case, for better or worse. Otherwise I would not have thought it applied, SarekOfVulcan would not have tried to apply it against my comments at RFA a month or so back, and so on. Whether intended that way or not, ARBATC's being interpreted broadly, not narrowly. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 23:26, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

@Fyunck(click): I have rescinded this request because the AE admin respondents have concluded that the case is weak. Maybe I even really am flat-out wrong about your posts, too, as you say; if time shows this to be the case, I will owe you an apology. I declined to respond to your rebuttal details because I know AE admins can draw their own conclusions from the diffs (note they're not agreeing with you, only finding that the old diffs are too old and the newer one not actionable), and I'm trying to keep it short, not because I couldn't formulate a response. In reply to your question, I did not examine your editing "ashtray" closely at all to find the evidence I did find, I just looked at your talk page and recent archives of it; that is not in any way unusual or harassing. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 06:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

@Mr. Stradivarius – Three important points:

  1. An MOS topic ban against me even for one month is not justified or justifiable simply because my interpretation of ARBATC may not have been entirely correct, or because my civility 4 or 5 months ago – long before any issue was raised here or in any other dispute resolution forum or noticeboard about it – may have lapsed, or it is imagined that I have a "grudge" against an editor I don't interact with much at all. Such a ban would also directly interfere with significant actual work I'm doing here, e.g. the WP:Manual of Style/Organisms proposal, which is nearing completion, and the WP:WikiProject Animals/Article structure proposal which is just getting started. Such a ban or a block would serve no remedy/prevention function at all, and be nothing but punitive, which is against ARBCOM's purpose and rules.
  2. Sandstein's "it may just mean that we'll be back here faster" response to you is the second time he's directly character-assassinated me by prognostication that firmly assumes bad faith, in virtually identical wording. Whether he considers himself topically invested enough in MOS disputes to be WP:INVOLVED is mooted by his self-evident, continual personal hostility toward me in particular; he's INVOLVED in a much more serious (and conduct-unbecoming) way than with regard to simple subject matter, and does not seem to understand that I am not his hobby, or his whipping boy.
  3. if AE calls my relying on 2012 Fyunck(click) diffs "frivolous", grudge-bearing, or otherwise inappropriate or worthless, despite my statement of their pattern-establishment relevance, then Sandstein trying to use his interpretation of some out-of-context post of mine from November 2012 (provided by LittleBenW, violating his own topic ban in the process) to show what he feels is a pattern and then use that as a basis for blocking or banning me is far worse, and Sandstein certainly knows better. As Joy [shallot] noted, "not even [a diff] from November 2012 is relevant" when I provided one. Goose, gander. If I were to receive WP:BOOMERANG sanctions, Sandstein surely would have to as well, for abusing AE to pursue a grudge, including incivilly personalizing MOS-related disputes, and using an "evidence that's too old and thus is frivolous even though you think it's part of a pattern" approach – i.e. what I stand accused of myself. WP:AE cannot seriously even consider permitting hypocrisy of such magnitude and blatantness, and editor faith in ARBCOM and adminship is badly shaken enough already, don't you think? — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 06:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
@Joy [shallot]: I am already "dissuaded" from coming here again any time soon, if ever. I hate this. Supposing that a short-term topic ban will have a deterrent effect on my making accusations here (or at ANI, etc.) without adequate proof also supposes that I'm crazy and would like nothing better than to keep coming back here. :-) I have a clean block log for a reason (and after 80K+ edits over 7+ years it's virtually impossible not to make some mistakes, as I admit I've made here). Regarding LittleBenW, it's not part of some "pattern". As I said in a followup note at ANI, I had not initially intended to raise any ANI issue with LittleBenW's attacks against me here (where he is not a party but someone who followed me here to make trouble); if I had some "grudge", I would have gone to ANI immediately, not 2 days or so after he started up again here. But even after Sandstein and you both warned him anew, he still continued to defiantly attack me and then you as well. Sandstein declared that AE was not the forum for dealing with this, and declined to take action about it on that basis; this suggested that raising it at ANI was the only appropriate action. If doing so really was "too bold", I can accept that, but will need clarification on how it was so, and would have to also say that I feel I was explicitly herded in ANI's direction. While I may have rubbed some people the wrong way here, and filed an AE request with evidence that has been deemed too weak in part and too old as to the rest of it, such that I rescinded the request, that doesn't somehow give other editors carte blanche to use AE as a platform for verbally abusing me (or anyone else) with impunity.

If I had said about LittleBenW (or anyone else) what he has said about me (and then you) here, I have no doubt that I would now have a 1-year outright block imposed on me, since that's the SMcCandlish "remedy" Sandstein's proposed/threatened several times for any AGF/NPA violation in any MOS/AT discussion, as if I'm some kind of vandal, and he's stated he does consider AE itself to be within scope. I suppose I am not even permitted to speculate why LittleBenW got a free pass to do the same thing here under the same watch (and in a venue with a huge hatnote warning against personal attacks, an him violating his topic ban to engage in them), interesting as that question might be. It goes nicely with a related question: Why am I being raked over the coals so intently, aside from being allowed to be a personal-attacks target for days in a row, when I'm actually trying to follow the increasingly stringent "use the appropriate dispute resolution forum and do not get into personalizing squabbles on talk pages, or else" admonitions WP is full of lately? — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 12:50, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

PS: I have looked and looked, and the only noteworthy interaction I can find between me and Fyunck(click) heretofore is this side discussion in an RfC that you also participated in. While Fyunck and I were argumentative with each other, it was short, and even included me apologizing for ascribing someone else's edit to Fyunck by mistake, and Fyunck accepting the apology. Not much of a basis for a "grudge" assumption, right? — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 13:42, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

@Any uninvolved admin: Please just close this with nothing against Fyunck(click), since that seems to be the consensus, and a warning toward me against filing poor AE requests, if you feel one is actually warranted after I've already clearly gotten that point and understood that my request was actually much weaker than I thought when filing it (my first time ever making an AE request, and probably my last due to the intensely personalized hostile reception I received from one admin here, I might add). All this legalistic process is a frustrating time-sink for everyone. I've been wondering for several days why this is still open, since AE collectively determined I failed to present an adequate case almost immediately after I opened this request, and I've conceded that several times. There's multiple oppositions registered to blocking me, and not even a consensus to short-term topic-ban me, and now concerns raised about why a long-term productive editor with a clean block record is being considered for treatment like an inveterate disruptor, absent any actual evidence of bad faith, and even a showing of good faith in rescinding the AE request. Happening to be on the "losing" side of an AE request is not grounds for punitive sanctioning. Unwarranted sanctions that raise serious questions and concerns, as those proposed here already have, do not have a legitimate deterrent/preventative effect, but simply lead to more disputation and process, because they almost inevitably lead to appeals. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 12:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Discussion concerning Fyunck(click)[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Fyunck(click)[edit]

Wow. I'm not exactly sure where the heck this came from... sort of out of the blue. In an ongoing discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Article_titles#Use_of_accent_marks_in_titles I give a single opinion on an unsettled debate and out shoots an Arbitration Enforcement. I checked out SMcCandlish because of this and see he was admonished just the other day so I guess the frustration is to take it out on me. Under sanction/remedy to be enforced I have no idea what Mr. SMcCandlish is talking about - so no comment.

under diff of edits:
  • 1. An editor asks a query and gets responses across the board. I make one comment... one... and I wind up here. Does having an opposing view to SMcCandlish really warrant me having to go through this? Or is this simply his anger at his recent warning coming through and I just happened to be an easy target?
  • 2. I really don't know what to say here either. Is everyone who participates in any diacritic conversation "battlegrounding?" If so that would certainly include SMcCandlish and hundreds of others. Is SMcCandlish really asking for the muting of all opposing views on wikipedia? That seems a bit harsh to me.
under Diffs of notifications
  • 1. I have no idea exactly what this is - so no comment
  • 2. He really wants to bring HandsomeFella into this? An editor who's been blocked many times warns me for something that did not happen, and you bring that up here. This is an editor I've had problems with in the past with things he left on my own talk page. And the things that were being contested were not diacritics. How much combing and how how far back and how many ashtrays did SMcCandlish have to look under to bring this frivolous request here?
  • 3. Absolute falsehood. And "clearly returned to the topic in force" is another ridiculous statement by SMcCandlish. Can he really do this with no consequences? In that ANI someone said that SMcCandlish was "intimidating me" on my talk page. I came over to the ANI to say he wasn't intimidating me. Goodness. But let me state right now... SMcCandlish is intimidating me now. This is like bullying and it must stop.
  • 4. This is just grasping at straws by SMcCandlish. I was not blocked for edit warring over diacritics but a content dispute, and the person on the other side of the coin was also blocked. The other person was also blocked again. What a content dispute in July has to with this is beyond me.

Disclosure: I may disagree with SMcCandlish's diacritics position on both logical and policy grounds, but not enough to bully or intimidate as he is doing to me now. And I can't help what others write on my page but I do try to answer to the best of my ability. If someone wants to cherry pick those answers without the context that goes with them then there's not a lot I can do. (The remainder of the response has been removed by a reviewing administrator because it exceeded the 500 word limit indicated at the beginning of the section.  Sandstein  07:12, 8 March 2013 (UTC)) Fyunck(click) (talk) 21:00, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

    • Note - the numbers I added were a direct response to Mr. SMcCandlish's numbers above. He has since changed them to heap on more and more ridiculous attacks on me, and I'm not going to keep renumbering them everytime he decides to heap on more. My statements stand as is to this bullying, even though they were also trimmed. Fyunck(click) (talk) 10:20, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Followup I have to say the further statements by SMcCandlish (many misleading ones at that) make me really wonder what I ever did to him to make him so vitriol towards me. I only recall a couple times where we were on different ends of a diacritic debate... and now I see he has written more about me. I actually came here to ask that he just apologize to me and promise never to do this to me again, and let it go with a simple warning... that's the way I wish wikipedia would work. But now after reading more and more statements I begin to wonder if there is something underlying this? His attitude seems to be "oh well, I brought Fyunck here and it didn't work, no harm done." No "I'm sorry", no "boy did I make a mistake that will never happen again." I wish if something wasn't clear that SMcCandlish would have just asked me about it nicely on my talk page... it's not like I don't try to answer anything anyone writes there (except for one or two who I've had to have administrators deal with). But to open up my page and see I'd been dragged here, when I knew I hadn't argued with anyone for awhile, makes me wonder... will this happen to me again by SMcCandlish? Has he done this to anyone else with no remorse? I sure hope not, and I would hope a warning would work, but it makes me look over my shoulder now. Fyunck(click) (talk) 05:03, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by LittleBenW[edit]

The essence of this dispute overlaps with the appeal that I intend to file against my topic ban, so I will provide some relevant information and links:

  • SMcCandlish: Merely saying in your edit summary that you don't have a grudge against Fyunck surely does not excuse yet another MOS-related frivolous, fraudulent, or malicious attack on a NPOV editor. LittleBen (talk) 01:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Fyunck(click]: He's only trying to bully you off Wikipedia because you believe in fair play and NPOV—but he says he doesn't hold a grudge against you, so you should not take it personally. LittleBen (talk) 07:32, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by In ictu oculi[edit]

User SMcCandlish has a virgin block log and I believe a block here would be inappropriate/overkill for 2 reasons:

(1) he has pulled the request, which shows good faith
(2) although the request was malformed (ARBCOM ruling is on titles/capitalization, wheras Fyunck's edits are leads/accents) but not frivolous:
SMcCandlish RfC: "Is it appropriate for a wikiproject to insist on no-diacritics names, based on an organisation's rule or commonness in English-language press?"
Sandstein close: "Consensus is that the answer to the question posed in the title of this RfC is "no". Additionally, a great majority of participants express a preference for retaining diacritics in the title of articles, either generally or as applied to tennis players in particular"

The 100 leads and variants with the Roberto Argüello (born 12 May 1963) and known professionally as Roberto Arguello formula are counter the letter of RfC in that the 100 leads do "insist on no-diacritics names, based on an organisation's rule." - further these 100 leads have been largely added after the RfC in response to RfC and RMs and around 20 separate editors have tried to revert the formula across these 100 articles, with Fyunck reverting in all cases.

Therefore on point(2) although the request was malformed I do not think a block can be given to an editor with a virgin record for seeing an editor already disregarding an RfC close on 100 articles to make comment dismissing the same consensus with or without the nationality addition: "Tennis doesn't use them.... The only place I've seen huge amounts of diacritics is here on wikipedia, but with so many non-English-first editors these days that shift is to be expected." As far as linking to WP:BOLLOCKS we don't generally block editors for linking to an existing WP:SHORTCUT no matter how crass.

As far as Fyunck, I also don't see the need to block/sanction, until someone formally says to him, "yes that's part of the RfC close." In ictu oculi (talk) 12:51, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by (username)[edit]

Result concerning Fyunck(click)[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

I've shortened the request to the extent it exceeded the 500 word limit indicated at the beginning of the section. Indicating why a warning or notice is required should well be doable within 500 words. SMcCandlish may re-submit the request in a shortened version if he does so before Fyunck(click) responds to it. I'm waiting for a statement by Fyunck(click) before commenting on the merits.  Sandstein  19:38, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

On the merits now: The request (as it now stands) contains exactly one diff of allegedly objectionable behavior. I find nothing of concern in it. It is an argument about whether and how diacritics are used in English (that is a question of the content of the MOS and therefore outside the scope of AE), and an observation that "but with so many non-English-first editors these days that shift [towards using diacritics in Wikipedia] is to be expected". That is a general observation about Wikipedia's editorship and does not personalize any disputes. It requires no administrative action. This request borders on the frivolous, and I invite comment by other administrators about whether action is needed with regard to this.  Sandstein  07:21, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • What is the exact criterion for being an uninvolved administrator here? I have discussed the diacritics issue with Fyunck(click) at length before, so even if I don't know what he's been up to in the last few months (in particular, all of these diffs above are news to me), I'd rather steer clear. What makes me somewhat confused is that Sandstein previously closed an RfC on the matter but has in turn commented in this section. Granted, I think any admin should have come to those same conclusions there, but someone else could disagree, and that action still involved a modicum of interpretation and discretion, so it could be broadly construed as involvement, too. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:16, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The thing that prompted me to ask this in particular was the implication of Not the admin I give two hoots about as far as diacritics. He is a diacritic diehard and is as biased as anyone can be on wikipedia on that subject. Nothing personal against you, Sandstein, I hope it didn't come off that way. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:20, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Hm, whether you could be seen as involved would depend on the length and intensity of your diacritics-related discussion, I think. WP:INVOLVED excepts "minor or obvious edits which do not speak to bias".
I didn't remember closing that RfC in 2012 – I frequently close random RfCs listed as needing closure on WP:AN. My personal view is that while I might have become involved if I had expressed an opinion of my own in the RfC (especially one strongly opposed to that of any party to the present request), the role of a closer of an RfC (or any other community discussion, such as an AfD) is to neutrally evaluate the consensus outcome of the discussion (and since nobody has objected to the closure, I assume that's how it was perceived). I've closed plenty of Israel/Palestine-related AfDs, for example, and nobody has ever said that for this reason I might be too involved to act as an administrator in that topic area.
In the instant case, the consensus I considered to emerge from the RfC was congruent with SMcCandlish's opinion, and may have been contrary to (as far as I can tell) Fyunck(click)'s opinion. As applied to the present request, I'd therefore only consider recusing myself if Fyunck(click) were to request it.  Sandstein  16:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
That would be my guess, yes, but I just realized that the whole issue is moot because the diff is from early March 2012, and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Article titles and capitalisation was only closed later that same month. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:54, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the issue of involvement, I'm not sure whether closing an RFC with a particular finding makes one "involved" or not, I would say not normally; if there was a question of conflict of interest, it might be, but I am not aware of the particular circumstances of the RFC in question and I doubt it would help resolve this request to go looking into it here.

As to the merits of this request, the relevant statement from the original arbcom case would I think be that All parties are reminded to avoid personalizing disputes. While Fyunck's comments are technically comments on contributor, I don't think they quite rise to the level of personalizing disputes, particularly since Fyunck is commenting on a third party or parties not involved in the actual discussions in which he made these comments. To put it another way, I don't get the impression that Fyunck was setting out to offend or belittle anyone here, or that a legitimate content discussion was being derailed through the use of such tactics. So while I wouldn't describe this request as frivolous exactly, I don't think it has a great deal of substance. Users must I think be allowed a little leeway in trying to make a point. What I would describe as sanctionable would be comments which might be considered to be unduly hostile, or which might be likely to cause anger or offence, and there isn't much evidence of that here. So I don't see any need for action at this time; the request itself will probably serve as a sufficient reminder to Fyunck. Gatoclass (talk) 13:19, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Unfortunately I missed the fact in making the previous comment that three of the diffs are actually a year old. There is only one recent diff, and I see nothing objectionable about that comment, just making the observation that there are plenty of foreigners on and assuming they would have a preference for diacritics can scarcely be construed as some sort of attack. So I agree that the request is frivolous. I think either a warning or a brief topic ban would be in order here. Gatoclass (talk) 14:06, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I too see nothing objectionable in the first diff; Fyunck's remark that non-native speakers of English might prefer diacritics seems like a fairly straightforward observation to me. Also, the "talked about a bazillion times" part may be hyperbole, but as I understand it there certainly has been a lot of discussion on the issue. With the lack of any other recent evidence presented, I have to agree with Sandstein and Gatoclass that this is a frivolous report. I think closing this with a warning would be too lax given SMcCandlish's warnings in this forum last week and on February 1st. Neither am I fan of topic bans covering a short duration, as they often cause more drama than they solve. I think the most appropriate thing to do in this situation would be to issue SMcCandlish with a short block, perhaps for one week, although I am open to persuasion about the length. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 15:08, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Agreed in principle, but it may be better to reconsider the longer-term MOS topic ban I suggested in the previous request regarding SMcCandlish. Sanctions should be preventative, not punitive. Because SMcCandlish's contributions in other topic areas are not problematic, as far as I know, a topic ban would be better suited to preventing untoward conduct than a block, which would prevent all contributions. The pattern of conduct that emerges from the previous requests you mention is one of a battleground attitude to MOS disagreements, and this groundless enforcement request is somewhat congruent with that pattern, because it is understandable that Fyunck(click) perceives it as "intimidating" and "bullying". Consequently I favor imposing a topic ban from the MOS and all related issues for about six months to a year.  Sandstein  16:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I couldn't possibly agree to a ban of that length for an initial sanction, especially for a relatively trivial offence like filing a frivolous request - and particularly since this is an offence that usually attracts no more than a warning at most. If it's to be a topic ban, it should not be any more than the usual length for an initial ban of one month. I could support a longer initial ban for, say, a hardened POV-pusher, but for a user whose positive contributions to the topic area are widely acknowledged, and who probably just needs a little time to adjust to the discretionary sanctions regime, more than a month would be unduly punitive IMO. Gatoclass (talk) 17:06, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Going back to March last year to find trouble is pointless if there's no current problem... not even the rant from November 2012 is relevant because it's already been three months since that. The most recent diff isn't really objectionable - warning against it would easily be seen as an exercise in restricting someone's freedom of speech. SMcCandlish, why are you bringing this up now? --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:54, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The diff in LittleBenW's statement, although a bit old (Nov. 12) is in line with my assessment of SMcCandlish using battleground terminology ("Anglo-American anti-ethnic discrimination", "xenophobic WP:BOLLOCKS") and, as here, the arbitration process as a means of intimidation ("The next time someone tries to force this article to be ... without the diaeresis, they should be taken to WP:ARBCOM") in order to win content disputes about issues of style. On the other hand, the statement may violate the diacritics topic ban that LittleBenW is apparently subject to (although I haven't seen it), but since that is apparently a community-imposed sanction, rather than an arbitral one, it can't be enforced in this venue.

    I'd prefer not to be the one to close this, frankly, if only to avoid lengthy discussions about involvement (as previously discussed, my opinion is that my interactions with SMcCandlish were of a purely administrative nature; just because he disagrees with my warnings to him and my assessment of his conduct doesn't make me involved.) But if no other uninvolved administrator closes this thread, I'll do so with a two-month topic ban to SMcCandlish, which takes into account Gatoclass's concern about length above.  Sandstein  07:37, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

  • It looks like no-one else is about to agree with my suggestion of a week-long block, and I do see your point about a topic ban allowing positive contributions in other areas to continue. If we are going to go with a topic ban, though, I would prefer it to be for one month, rather than two, for the same reasons as Gatoclass. More than one month seems a bit harsh for a first sanction to me. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 09:07, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  • If you prefer that, all right, although it may just mean that we'll be back here faster.  Sandstein  17:25, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I concur with Mr. Stradivarius and Gatoclass that blocking SMC for an extended period wouldn't be a good idea. Everyone else involved seems to have a history of egregious violations of policy that caused them to previously get blocked by various admins, whereas SMC has only recently been warned twice for assuming bad faith, but never blocked. Having them blocked for failing to present up-to-date evidence of bad faith about users that we already know to be more problematic than them - certainly looks disproportionate. In my mind at least, there's quite a serious difference between looking at a clean block log and one with something in it. A temporary topic ban won't leave that kind of a mark but will be enough to dissuade them from making these accusations as casually as before (because a single topic ban violation will be enough to prompt a block). --Joy [shallot] (talk) 09:01, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Re: SMC update - it's a dismissive statement, yes, possibly denigrating, but TTBOMK the community has not withdrawn the presumption of good faith on Fyunck, so if that's all you've got, it's glaringly insufficient for action. If he was doing something disruptive at the same time, you might have a case, but like this, it looks like you are holding a grudge and abusing AE for that.
Re: LBW - while looking into this, I found that Fyunck was blocked on 23 July 2012 for 17 hours before being unblocked, and the block log says Joe Decker did it because of the article Jelena Janković; while I haven't examined every aspect of that story, the conflated description of those events and persons appears quite tendentious, particularly coupled with the gross misinterpretation of the MakeSense64 RFC at the same time and a block log that shows no less than three blocks in the last six months. At the same time, SMC has none, and people are seriously thinking of boomerang-blocking him - LBW looks like a prime target for the same.
--Joy [shallot] (talk) 18:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Why am I to thank for anything you wish to imply? Your link shows User:HandsomeFella's edit summary of I wouldn't use the censorship argument, it didn't turn out well for GoodDay. That's presumably a reference to something negative that happened to User:GoodDay, so I went and looked, and his block log shows no less than five blocks in the last year or so, the last two based on arbitration enforcement. At the same time, the former user's block log shows an 11h block by Joe Decker coterminous with Fyunck's 17h block, and one edit-warring block after that.
But I digress. I'm less than impressed by the accusation of intimidation when we're talking about people who have violated policies enough to get blocked so many times. SMC might have dug a hole for himself here, but you appear to be matching him and then some with this idea that implicating a third user in wrongdoing against Fyunck is somehow beneficial - if you want to request arbitration enforcement against HandsomeFella - do that; if you want to say e.g. that SMC and HF are tag-teaming against Fyunck - do that. Don't give us all this innuendo, because it just looks like you have an axe to grind, too. BTW this is not the right section for your comment. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 08:24, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
In the meantime, SMcCandlish appealed at ANI for someone to enforce LBW's topic ban, and so it was enforced with a block. *sigh* It doesn't significantly affect this process, but it's interesting because it may be seen to fit the pattern: SMC is clearly an editor who is bold in dealing with what he perceives is WP:DE - but is he too bold? --Joy [shallot] (talk) 08:14, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
How can a successful request, agreed to by two admins there, be used as evidence that SMC has a pattern of frivolous cases or being "too bold"? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 16:56, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

OK, it seems nobody else wants to close this, and we're back in wall-of-text territory, so I'll do it. Per the discussion above, for continued battleground-like conduct in disputes about the manual of style, as manifested notably in the recent requests of 24 February 2013 and 27 January 2013 and in this frivolous and vexatious request, SMcCandlish is topic-banned (per WP:TBAN) for one month from everything related to the Manual of Style and its components, except for references to the MOS that may be necessary to explain any articlespace edits he makes.  Sandstein  18:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


Soosim blocked four days for violation of the ARBPIA 1RR on two different articles. EdJohnston (talk) 20:38, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Nomoskedasticity (talk) 06:13, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Soosim (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:ARBPIA#PRINCIPLES and Wikipedia:ARBPIA#General 1RR Restriction
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 7 March 2013 09:23 Undoes previous edit on Amiram Goldblum
  2. 8 March 2013 08:03 Undoes previous edit on Amiram Goldblum, thus a violation of 1RR
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. Warned on 13 December 2011 by EdJohnston (talk · contribs)
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 
  • One edit relates to the Israeli occupation, the other to Peace Now. Both are clearly connected to I/P. If you look at the recent history of NGO Monitor, you'll see another violation of 1RR: first this, then this, both on 6 March.
  • This request comes in the context of serious concern about the way Soosim has been adding poorly sourced negative material to the BLPs of activists on the left of the I/P conflict. One egregious example was here, using a very questionable source to get an accusation of anti-Semitism onto the page. Another one is here, where some neutral material is accompanied by a vitriolic paragraph sourced to CAMERA's own website. Soosim has been antagonising Goldblum for months now, and if he can't adhere strictly to 1RR then he ought to be given a lengthy break and/or a topic ban. The use of poor sources for negative BLP editing should, in my view, result in a sanction even when it doesn't violate 1RR.
  • @Sandstein: the indicated "notification" by EdJohnston was in fact a block for violating 1RR as per the ARBPIA sanctions. I don't think that whether Soosim is aware of ARBPIA is really in question. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:56, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment -- Whatever one makes of Sandstein's concern about the general nature of ARBPIA, the fact is that Soosim was warned and clearly knows about 1RR on I/P articles. The sort of concern Sandstein indicates, if widely shared among arbs/admins, portends to undermine the 1RR restriction in this area. I think that would be a very bad idea. As for Soosim's claim that I too violated 1RR, that is an extremely bad faith claim, failing to indicate that my edit was immediately self-reverted and failing to convey the edit-summary with the explanation (here). Nomoskedasticity (talk) 17:50, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • @EdJohnston: I don't think the 1RR violation itself is serious enough to justify a topic ban. But in the context of using very poor quality sources to get things like "anti-Semitic" and "hypocrisy and double standards" onto BLPs, I think a topic ban warrants consideration. This sort of thing is a plague in the I/P area. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:41, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • @Ed -- on inspection, it's true that Soosim didn't add the text about 'hypocrisy and double standards'; he did however use the CAMERA source to expand that passage and add an example of what he appears to consider Siegman's 'hypocrisy and double standards'. It's a mystery to me how this makes it 'more acceptable'. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 07:13, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Soosim[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Soosim[edit]

hi all - i see there has been some discussion here since yesterday. i apologize for not answering right away. i started to and then was unable to be at my computer until now (36 hours later).

i would like to say the following:

a) nomo was waiting for me to screw up. fine. i screwed up, according to the rules. i was 23 hours and not 25. (though 25 can also be like 24 under certain circumstances, right?). i have an 'excuse', but it is irrelevant. and yes, the two edits were two very different items, but apparently that is irrelvant as well.

b) i am very shocked at nomo's wholesale categorization of me "serious concern about the way Soosim has been adding poorly sourced negative material to the BLPs of activists on the left of the I/P conflict". i have made thousands of edits, and there are two questionable ones (questionable according to nomo). i will simply say that the greta berlin edit was one which can be allowed since the source was specific and knowledgable. after it was reverted, i left it alone. didn't fight it, didn't edit war. period. and for the siegelman edit, i was clarifying content that was already there. didn't add what nomo thinks.

c) and if i may, nomo also has been a 1RR violater on the same exact page. i think this shows it: - but, i will not "take nomo to AE" because in my 5+ years of wiki editing, i haven't done that. i prefer to talk on the talk pages, work things out. you ask my 'natural' sparring partners about that (sean.hoyland, malik, dlv, etc.). maybe i need to be more 'vicious', but i doubt i will head in that direction.

thanks for listening.

@EdJohnston: ed - if i may....a) berlin: i used a piece written by the person themselves. i wasn't using mondoweiss as a RS, but rather the article itself. if joe shmoe writes an article, it is valid for joe shmoe's opinion only, correct? did i miss something? ; b) camera - i didn't put that on the page. it was already there, and i think i edited it and added material to make it more acceptable. if it wasn't a good edit (the adding about the LA times, i think), then it can be removed. let me know what you think. thanks. Soosim (talk) 05:56, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

@ed - i think 4 days is a bit harsh.....the last time was december 2011. i don't deny that i am overzealous and often get dragged in. and most of the time (zero times in the last 14 months) i am pretty good about it. i thought your original call for 48 hours was fair. Soosim (talk) 05:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Gatoclass[edit]

@Sandstein: In response to your queries, the 1RR discussion was led by admins then active at AE and was considered an AE remedy. Since AE admins are explicity given the discretion to impose remedies (hence "discretionary sanctions"), I'm sure they were seen as having the power to do so, but regardless, the 1RR restriction is by now long accepted as an ARBPIA remedy. With regard to Soosim, AFAICT he has been a regular contributor to I-P conflict-related pages since 2008, and has himself been the subject of AE requests in the past, so it is practically inconceivable that he would not be unaware of the 1RR restriction after all this time. Gatoclass (talk) 17:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

And Soosim him/herself explained the 1RR rule on this board here. Zerotalk 13:53, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by (username)[edit]

Result concerning Soosim[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

Could someone who was around then explain how Wikipedia:ARBPIA#General 1RR restriction is a restriction enforceable under Arbitration Committee authority? The case page states "Per community discussion and decision at Wikipedia:WikiProject Arbitration Enforcement/Israel-Palestine articles", but this board is not for enforcing community decisions, only arbitral ones. If the 1RR restriction is to be considered a discretionary sanction (and I'm not sure that it can be, since it neither invokes the arbitral decision's authority nor is it labeled as being imposed by a clearly identified uninvolved administrator), the question would remain as to how we know that Soosim was made aware of the restriction's existence.  Sandstein  17:02, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  • The ARBPIA 1RR was originally a community restriction, but Arbcom passed a motion in March, 2012 that adds a qualifier to the terms of the 1RR, allowing IP edits to be reverted without counting against 1RR. They also modified the Troubles 1RR to use the same language. Since Arbcom touched the 1RR in 2012, I think they own it now. The Troubles 1RR was explicitly imposed by T. Canens under authority of discretionary sanctions in the fall of 2011, perhaps to avoid this issue. EdJohnston (talk) 05:20, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
If there is any question whether Soosim received a proper notice, I did warn him using the {{uw-sanctions}} template in December, 2011. EdJohnston (talk) 06:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarifications. You're all correct as far as I can tell, but nonetheless... Call me a hidebound legalist, but I'm uncomfortable enforcing a provision that is not clearly (a) a Committee decision taken by majority vote and published as such on the case page, or (b) a discretionary sanction labeled as such, made by a responsible individual administrator and specifically notified to the editor via talk page message or edit notice. Tertium non datur, in my view.

Also, the 1RR restriction is worded such that it is to be applied to anyone who edits an affected article without prior warning: "Editors who violate this 1RR restriction may be blocked without warning by any uninvolved administrator, even on a first offense". As it is unreasonable to expect that every editor who edits these articles is aware of even the existence of this arbitration case, this provision runs counter to my sense of procedural fairness (even though notification is not a problem in this case).

So, personally, I'd rather not take action in this case. That's not to say that I think less of anyone who does decide to act on this enforcement request, but to me this provision is too novel and unusual for me to be comfortable with acting on it.  Sandstein  15:56, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

The defense that "I didn't know this is in effect" is moot when said editor has been warned prior, however. - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 17:56, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • On the actual topic of this complaint, Soosim already broke 1RR and seems to have no valid defence. His block log shows that he's been previously sanctioned for 1RR violation, so I'd double the previous remedy, and make this a 48-hour block. The only question is whether anyone considers this serious enough to justify a topic ban. EdJohnston (talk) 18:33, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I have now checked out the claims of Soosim's bad editing at Henry Siegman, Amiram Goldblum, NGO Monitor and Greta Berlin. The worst item was this edit at Greta Berlin. It seems to be an example of poor judgment on his part. Trying to use a blog like Mondoweiss as a reliable source for a certain bad comment being posted on Facebook is a stretch. Still, it's within the realm of editor discretion and I don't know if it is sanctionable at AE. Quoting CAMERA's opinion on Henry Siegman looks to be another example of poor judgment. For us to cite CAMERA's opinion about an Israeli leftist is like reporting what Joe McCarthy thinks about Communism: the answer is predictable, and it tells us little about the person who is the target of the comment. It looks like there was another 1RR violation at NGO Monitor on 3 March, so with that in mind I'd increase the block to 4 days. EdJohnston (talk) 05:33, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
No admins have expressed any support for a topic ban. The submitter, Nomoskedasticity, mentions a topic ban. Gatoclass left a comment but he did not participate in the uninvolved admin section since he usually considers himself to be involved in this topic area. Sandstein does not wish to close 1RR violations that were established by ARBPIA due to "Tertium non datur". Sandstein, we've only closed about 50,000 of these here at AE while you were temporarily away from this board. So I'll proceed to close this within 24 hours with a four-day block of Soosim for the double 1RR violation unless there is consensus against that. EdJohnston (talk) 20:36, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Closing now with a 4-day block. EdJohnston (talk) 20:36, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Brandmeister[edit]

The duration of Brandmeister's topic ban has been reduced to six months. EdJohnston (talk) 14:40, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Appealing user 
Brandmeister (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)Brandmeistertalk 10:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
Two-year topic ban on all articles related to Armenia-Azerbaijan and related ethnic conflicts, broadly interpreted, imposed at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive129#Brandmeister
Administrator imposing the sanction 
Lord Roem (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 

Statement by Brandmeister[edit]

I would like to request a review of my topic ban, imposed on February 10, 2013 in the aforementioned AE section. The edit, for which I have been reported and sanctioned, was merely a removal of contradiction within the article's text (which I noted in the edit summary) and the edit was ultimately restored by mediator Golbez. Up until now the dissenting users themselves have no concerns at the related talk page thread, which I started on February 4. Also I would like to note that the previous report on me was dishonest as it was made by account which subsequently turned out to be a sock. In his report that account, Vandorenfm, mentioned four other allegedly unrelated editors, with whom I had interacted (Aram-van, Gorzaim, Vandorenfm and Xebulon). All of them also turned out later to be socks, which likely tried to use the arbitration noticeboard as an instrument to overcome the content disputes. User:Zimmarod, who reported me this time, displays the behaviour of a dormant single-purpose account, as evidenced by his/her contributions, that are almost exclusively within the Armenia-Azerbaijan field. Considering that and the fact that the Armenia-Azerbaijan topics constitute an insignificant part of my contributions, I believe that my two-year topic ban is inappropriately severe and can be reviewed. I am ready to provide any further details if necessary. Brandmeistertalk 10:29, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

@ Sandstein I have not wrote above, that Zimmarod was a sock. I wrote, that he behaves like WP:SPA, which does not neccessarily mean that he is a sock. Brandmeistertalk 19:13, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Lord Roem[edit]

I have no objection to reducing the ban duration, per the comment in the discussion section below (which I believe suggests shrinking from two years to one). If this needs to be done by me, I'll gladly do it. Otherwise, I authorize any other uninvolved admin to adjust that time without objection from me, if that indeed is the consensus here. --Lord Roem ~ (talk) 07:53, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 1)[edit]

Statement by (involved editor 2)[edit]

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Brandmeister[edit]

Statement by The Devil's Advocate[edit]

Sandstein, Brand's comment about sockpuppets filing a report against him is in reference to a report filed by User:Vandorenfm in February of 2011, which resulted in a year-long topic ban. As you can see, that account was eventually found to be a sockpuppet of another editor. The other two accounts were also blocked as sockpuppets, one being a sockpuppet of the same editor who operated Vandorenfm. I think the current sanction is extremely excessive in light of those facts and given the very limited legitimate evidence provided in this latest case.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:30, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

The two-year length of the current topic ban was suggested because of there having been a previous one-year topic ban so it does have relevance to the current sanction.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 21:56, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

@KC When you have escalating sanctions for editors with de-escalating conduct you are sending the message that only perfection will be accepted after you have a black mark. That the one-year topic ban was primarily the product of manipulation by abusive sockmasters should and does matter.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:34, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Grandmaster[edit]

I would like to support the request by Brandmeister. His 2 year topic ban is considered to be an escalation of his previous 1 year topic ban, but one should take into the account that the first ban was not a correct one. If we look into its history, the complaint against Brandmeister was made by User:Vandorenfm, a sock of the banned user. See here: [7] Note the complaint of the sock: The immediate concern is his editing of the article on Caucasian Albania, where User:Twilight Chill continues waging an edit war against 5 (five) other unrelated editors (Aram-van, Gorzaim, Vandorenfm, MarshallBagramyan, Xebulon). As Brandmeister noted above, 4 of 5 accounts that Vandorenfm mentioned back then turned out later to be socks (User:Aram-van, User:Gorzaim, User:Vandorenfm, and User:Xebulon). So group of sock accounts tag teamed against an established editor with tens of thousands of useful contribs, and then reported him to get him banned. That plan worked back then, but considering that the sock accounts were later exposed, I believe that first ban should be overturned and discounted, because the banned user is not allowed to make any contribs to Wikipedia, including filing enforcement reports at this board, and any contribs by the banned users and their socks must be reverted on spot without consideration to their merits. Therefore Brandmeister did not violate any rules by reverting socks, and should not have been banned on the basis of the report by a sock account.

Now if we look into the present topic ban, we can see that situation appears to be similar to that that led to the first ban. Brandmeister was alone against a group of accounts with less that 500 edits each, which appeared one after another after a long absence to rv the article Shusha. And I'm not the only one who thinks that the activity of Zimmarod, Oliveriki and 517design in the article Shusha looks very suspicious. Sandstein agreed "that the history of the article gives the impression that sock- or meatpuppetry may be involved". [8] Golbez also stated that he believed Zimmarod could be a sock account. [9] [10] Plus Brandmeister was the only one who attempted to discuss and left a comment at talk, while accounts reverting him never bothered to join the discussion. In a situation like this, I don't think that a topic ban (especially such a long one) is justified. Grandmaster 23:30, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

With regard to the relevance of other editors being socks to misconduct by Brandmeister. I think there's a relevance, due to the reasons that I mentioned before, i.e. banned users cannot file reports at this board. By supporting that old 1 year ban we admit that banned users can get away with filing reports here in violation of their ban. Also, if you look at the report by Vandorenfm, he provided 4 diffs of edit warring by Brandmeister, but all 4 refer to reverting sock accounts. According to WP:BAN, edits by banned users must be reverted without consideration to their quality, so there was no violation by Brandmeister when he reverted sock accounts. Therefore in my opinion the ban in 2011 was not a correct one, and should not be taken into consideration when making a decision about the present ban. Grandmaster 10:35, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Zimmarod[edit]

I suggest to ignore Brandmeister's request. He was under sanctions several times, as discussed here, and a better decision would perhaps be to ban him permanently. I am also troubled to see that Grandmaster and Brandmeister continue their accusations against me despite multiple warnings made just recently to stop accusations of socking/meating, etc. or use more proper venues for such discussions. I took a look into the issue of sock accusations against Vandorenfm/Xebulon/Gorzaim and it seems these folks were all banned without evidence (especially Gorzaim) as sysops came under heavy pressure from repeated bad-faith SPIs which numbed the administrator senses. Grandmaster misleads the public when he states that Brandmeister was making his reverts in the past after Vandorenfm/Xebulon were accused in being socks; not true - he was reverting before they were banned. The administrator simply caved in under the barrage of such attacks. So, the entire line of logic is flawed from start. And making parallels between Vandorenfm/Xebulon/Gorzaim and the recent edits on the Shusha page is baseless. Overall, a weak attempt to salvage an unsalvageable case. Zimmarod (talk) 17:10, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by Brandmeister[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Decline appeal, but recommend that the banning administrator reduce the ban duration. I was among the uninvolved administrators who expressed support for the original sanction, based on what I said then was a summary review of the complaint and response. To begin with, the statements about alleged misconduct by others are immaterial to whether the sanction against Brandmeister is appropriate or not, and can be disregarded. What matters here is only whether Lord Roem was right to impose a 2-year topic ban for Brandmeister's actions. On reflection, I think that the duration of the ban is disproportionate. The request incorrectly stated that Brandmeister had been blocked for a year and that he had been topic-banned for a year for similar conduct. If that were true, a 2-year ban would have been understandable. But in fact, Brandmeister had only been blocked for a week, by me. It would have been useful if Brandmeister had pointed out this error in his response to the enforcement request, which he did not. Considering that the sanction was imposed for "only" one revert, and that administrators are or were reluctant to impose year-long topic bans in other recent cases for what I consider rather more serious misconduct, namely longterm battleground conduct and intimidation, I think that the ban is disproportionately long, and I recommend that Lord Roem reduce it to a year or less.

    However, I would not accept the appeal in the sense of overturning the sanction against Lord Roem's will, for the following reasons: In general, administrators enjoy a wide individual discretion in imposing discretionary sanctions, and reviewing authorities other than the Arbitration Committee itself should not interfere with that discretion other than in cases of clear and severe error, which is not the case here. In this specific case, the statement of appeal is additionally problematic in that it does not reflect any understanding for why the conduct for which the ban was imposed was disruptive. Furthermore, the appeal alleges that the complainant, Zimmarod (talk · contribs), "subsequently turned out to be a sock". That is not true, in the sense that the account is not blocked as a sock, and I am not aware of (and the appeal does not supply any evidence for) any other authoritative finding that they are a sock. The Arbitration Committee has stated that casting aspersions on others by alleging substantial misconduct on their part (such as socking) without supplying evidence for such allegations is disruptive. Accordingly, I would decline the appeal for that reason alone.  Sandstein  18:13, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I misread that; the appeal apparently refers to Vandorenfm (talk · contribs), who is blocked as a sock. Nonetheless, I don't see how other editors being sockpuppets has any relevance to whether the sanction against Brandmeister for his own action(s) is appropriate.  Sandstein  21:41, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

I wasn't going to comment on this one but since nobody else has for a day or two, I think I will.

I have never been altogether comfortable with the "escalating sanctions" model recommended at some dispute resolution pages (though no longer, it seems, under the wording of the standard discretionary sanctions). The escalating model in my view is akin to the "three strikes and you're out" laws in some US states, where a miscreant can end up with a life sentence for stealing a pizza. Although it is certainly appropriate to utilize the escalating model in some circumstances, as a general rule I am more comfortable with the notion of applying a sanction proportionate to the offence.

In this case, my impression is that Lord Roem felt obliged to lay an extended sanction in line with the aforementioned escalating sanctions model, resulting in a two-year ban, but it seems no administrator here really believes the offences were that egregious. In these circumstances, I too would probably favour a reduction to a more proportionate level, particularly since Brandmeister's previous case appears to have been engineered in part by a since banished sockpuppet. Given that the effective length of any topic ban, if I am not mistaken, is six months (at which time a user can appeal), I would tentatively suggest a reduction to three months this time around. Gatoclass (talk) 10:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Generally agree with Gatoclass & Sandstein here. A sanction was justified but the length seems too long. It's rare that we see any definite length beyond 1 year and generally (due to what Gatoclass has pointed out re: appeals) bans beyond 12 months tend to be indefinite. So one way or another I would suggest reconsidering the length. While cogniscent of Sandstein's point that we can't force Lord Roem's hand here, like Gatoclass I think something less than a year and closer to 3 months around a year would be more in line with practice, but that is a suggestion - it is within the sanctioning sysop's discretion to disagree and since none of us are in fact suggesting an overturn of the ban all we can do is suggest a reconsideration of the length--Cailil talk 15:33, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
    I struck some of my comment above, given that the history of the 1 year ban in 2011 was also based on prior edit warring in 2009. As Sandstein states it is irrelevant that other accounts were single purpose or sock puppets. What is relevant is Brandmeister's long history of sanctions. I still hold that a 2 year ban is an unusal duration but I wouldn't necessarily suggest something as low as 3 months given the full history here--Cailil talk 15:45, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

It would be useful to get some more input here, anyone else have a comment? Gatoclass (talk) 11:32, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

  • I have no issue with the escalating sanctions model, and I don't care who reported a violation - sock or banned user or Arb or whoever, it is whether the violation occurred which determines sanctions, not the character of the reporting party. That said, this sanction is considerable. I have no objection to reducing the term. I agree with Cailil that 3 months is a bit drastic of a reduction. I suggest 6 months, with the caveat that if Brandmeister abuses this, the next sanction is likely to be substantial and not be reduced. KillerChihuahua 17:47, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
    TDA, I confess puzzlement as to your comment to me. I am proposing a reduction from 2 years to 6 months, and you are speaking to me of escalating remedies. Previous 1 yr, current from 2 yr to 6 mo - there is no way to slice that so it comes up "escalating". KillerChihuahua 16:06, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, if there are no objections in this section in the next 24 hours, I will close this with a reduction in Brandmeister's ban to six months. Gatoclass (talk) 11:07, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. KillerChihuahua 16:06, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I also support a reduction of the topic ban to six months. EdJohnston (talk) 17:41, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
No objection from me. Lord Roem ~ (talk) 18:53, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Support to reducing to 6 months, particularly taking into account Lord Roem's at least tacit agreement to it above. John Carter (talk) 20:04, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Closing. Brandmeister's topic ban is upheld but its duration is reduced to six months based on the comments here. Since the ban was imposed by Lord Roem on 10 February it will now expire on 10 August 2013. EdJohnston (talk) 14:38, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Rich Farmbrough[edit]

Rich Farmbrough is blocked for the duration of one year.  Sandstein  23:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Rich Farmbrough[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Fram (talk) 10:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Rich Farmbrough (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
the restriction
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 22 March 2013 Trying to clean up a page by changing ''' to '' where necessary; but the replacement wsa also done in a clearly incorrect way a number of times, in what seems to me an error that can not be explained by manual typing and is caused by unchecked or badly checked semi-automation: these are
    • ‘Madhubala’ becomes Madhubala’
    • ‘Madhubala’ becomes Madhubala’ (second time)
    • ‘Sunday’ becomes Sunday’
    • ‘Eurek(h)a’ becomes Eurek(h)a’
    • ‘Eureka’ becomes Eureka’
    • ‘I got it’ becomes I got it’
    • ‘Shooting Straight’ becomes Shooting Straight’
    • ‘Rekha Strikes Back’ becomes Rekha Strikes Back’
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I have filed this AE request for what may seem a relatively minor breach because it is telling of the way this editor is working, and comes so soon after the last block for violating the same restriction expired. Furthermore, it is but one in a series of low-quality edits, but the only one that is undoubtedly caused by semi-automated editing. This includes [11], an edit to an article that was the source of his previous AE block (and which alerted me now to his edits) which had as main result that the ref section had two of those big red errors in it. Both the Mohan Deep edit and the List edit were not corrected by Rich Farmbrough afterwards, so certainly in the case of that list, not even the most basic check of whether an edit had the desired result or undesired side effects was made (the only value of that list edit was in adding those refs, so if those don't appear but produce errors instead, it is hardly an improvement...). Fram (talk) 10:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Discussion concerning Rich Farmbrough[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Rich Farmbrough[edit]

Statement by (username)[edit]

Result concerning Rich Farmbrough[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

Instead of responding to this enforcement request, Rich Farmbrough has made a request for amendment asking the Arbitration Committee to lift the restriction that is to be enforced here. I'll ask arbitrators there whether they would like us to stay the processing of this enforcement request until the amendment request is disposed of.

Separately, I note that Rich Farmbrough has, on 14:08, 25 March 2013 (i.e., after this enforcement request was made) edited List of Other Backward Classes in a way that at first glance appears to be automated. I ask Rich Farmbrough to address this edit also in any reply he may choose to make.  Sandstein  16:59, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

OK, we have the go-ahead to proceed with this request. Rich Farmbrough has apparently chosen not to respond to it (he's been very actively editing other pages in the interim), so we can go on to examine the request on the merits.

The request is actionable. By the terms of his restriction, Rich Farmbrough is restricted from "making automated edits to pages offline for the purpose of pasting them into a normal browser for posting"; furthermore, he is directed "to make only completely manual edits (i.e. by selecting the [EDIT] button and typing changes into the editing window)". His edits at [13] (the one mentioned in the request) and [14] (mentioned above) as well as [15] can reasonably be explained only as having been made in violation of that restriction. As concerns the first edit, Fram's request explains why that is so, and I note that the apparently automated change introduced errors, which I understand was one of the reasons for the restriction from using automation to begin with. As concerns the other two edits, it appears very improbable that this sort of repetitive change was made without some sort of automation, if only the copy/paste or search/replace functions (which are forbidden under the terms of the decision, which prohibits "any automation whatsoever"). Taking also into consideration the decision's instruction that "for the purposes of this remedy, any edits that reasonably appear to be automated shall be assumed to be so", I must conclude that Rich Farmbrough has used some sort of automation to make the edits at issue, and is therefore in violation of the edit restrictions that apply to him.

As to the appropriate sanction, I consider the following: The restriction at issue was imposed on Rich Farmbrough – with his agreement – in lieu of a full site ban ([16]). He obtained the first, two-week block for violating a similar community restriction ([17]) in November 2012. He then violated the restriction in January 2013 and remained blocked for it until 19 March 2013, but proceeded to commit the next violation as soon as three days later, on 22 March. In addition, Rich Farmbrough continues to argue that the restriction should not apply because his edits are beneficial ([18]). In view of all this, I believe that he has no intention of complying with the restriction unless forced to do so, which we can only do by blocking him. Considering that not even a two-months block has deterred him from re-offending three days later, and that he was saved from an indefinite site ban only by agreeing to the restrictions he has now proceeded to violate, I conclude that the block should be of the maximum duration allowed by the decision's enforcement provision, i.e., one year. I am consequently imposing that sanction and closing this thread. This is of course without prejudice to the Committee possibly deciding to impose the site ban they withheld on the condition of Rich Farmbrough's agreement to the now-violated restrictions.  Sandstein  23:04, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek[edit]

Volunteer Marek and Russavia are banned from interacting with each other. Russavia is blocked for two weeks for violating his Eastern Europe topic ban.  Sandstein  07:05, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This request may be declined without further action if insufficient or unclear information is provided in the "Request" section below.
Requests may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs (not counting required information), except by permission of a reviewing administrator.

Request concerning Volunteer Marek[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Russavia (talk) 22:29, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)
Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 7 March 2013 Interaction ban breach
Diffs of notifications or of prior warnings against the conduct objected to (if required) 
  1. VM has received previous blocks on 10 August 2010, 28 October 2011, 4 April 2012.
Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I initially had this particular interaction ban breach raised with User:Timotheus_Canens around 24 hours after the breach itself, and I was advised it would be dealt with. Arbcom being Arbcom, and with other things taking their attention, I assumed it was still in their hands. But as this and AGK's comments this is not something that they would be dealing with, and for it to be brought here for enforcement. I sincerely hope that this will be taken into consideration by admins here in reviewing this request, and will not declare this request to be stale, and deal with the issue.

Arbcom interaction bans during blocks are still active, as this demonstrates. As the motion was only between User:Nug and I, and because VM also clearly commented at the motion discussion, he is fully aware that the interaction ban between him and I is still in place.

Comment left for Sandstein at User_talk:Sandstein#AE_request in relation to the above. Russavia (talk) 10:25, 25 March 2013 (UTC) Moved from the results section,  Sandstein  10:59, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
As per my comment to Sandstein, I have removed comments from this request, and can have larger issues dealt with elsewhere at another time. My apologies with that, I sincerely thought it would be pertinent to this request. Russavia (talk) 10:54, 25 March 2013 (UTC)Moved from the results section,  Sandstein  10:59, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
In relation to the Bulgarian telecommunications logos discussion, it didn't dawn on me until it was raised here that it could be covered under an EE topic ban. My asking the question about being TOO is a simple good faith error on my part. One can see that I was involved in Wikipedia:Files_for_deletion/2013_March_25#File:.22Sudeep_Sen.28centre.29_at_the_Odisha_Literacy_Festival_2012.jpg.22.jpg, and the Bulgarian logo discussion is directly beneath it, and from the wall of text that was visible to me, I could see someone was upset at the images being up for deletion. One thing being mellow on Commons has taught me, is to identify where an editor is upset, and to offer sound advice to them, and if possible help to possibly keep files that might actually be free. Hence my question about it passing the threshold of originality. It didn't cross my mind at all that it was a file that came under the EE topic ban; the only thought in my mind is that this could be a free file, and if can be kept, we should investigate it and keep it if it is free.
I have been quite mindful of my topic ban; especially because there seems to be an army of editors with nothing better to do than to follow my edits and find fault, and look out for that one topic ban breach that will get me booted for another year by admins acting in a draconian fashion at AE. This is an another example of an edit which I made to an article which was an improvement -- I have uploaded thousands of images to Commons which aren't in use on this project because of the punitive block last year. Upon noticing it was related to Croatia, I instantly reverted it, and noted it may be a topic ban breach and that I would check it out. Two admins whom I approached said in their opinion that Croatia is not covered in Eastern Europe, whilst another said it might be. I then decided to email Arbcom for their advice, and an arb was kind enough to provide a response that whilst didn't directly answer my question, answered the question in terms of what an invididual may think. Looking at Eastern Europe I might have to stay clear of articles related even to Greece and Turkey, because someone may take it that EE (broadly construed) could include those countries. As I know there are plenty of people who will use any reason to have me banned from this project, I decided not to place the image back into the article.
That Sandstein is suggesting a one year ban for this inadvertant and completely honest indiscretion, when it is obvious I was simply doing one of those things that I do best, and without giving it a second thought, for the benefit of this project, whilst at the same time being quite mindful of the limits of my topic ban, demonstrates how totally bonkers English Wikipedia has become. There is no good faith left on this project, and that the project as a hole has a level of toxicity that makes me want to say "Stuff it, ban me for a year, the community will see that an honest mistake is being dealt with by way of punishments that are totally out of touch with any sense of reality. Just like the last time."
    • One last comment** I am asking that any further action in respect to any aspect of this AE be delayed ever so slightly, as I have one last comment that I believe is especially important here, and may very well have a bearing on the outcome of this request. No more than 24 hours (probably less) -- I promise. Russavia (talk) 16:41, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Additional request : I am also asking that any closure of this request be delayed pending a request for clarification to the Arbitration Committee relating to numerous comments which have been made by Sandstein in this request. The comments, and what Sandstein is suggesting as a result of those comments, grossly oversteps the authority of Sandstein in this arena; i.e. single-handedly null and voiding Arbitration Committee decisions. Admins at AE are here to enforce Arbcom decisions, not ignore, void, rewrite or otherwise tamper with Arbcom decisions as they see fit. I will post a request for clarification and will provide a link here. Russavia (talk) 17:20, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Volunteer Marek[edit]

Statements must be made in separate sections. They may not exceed 500 words and 20 diffs, except by permission of a reviewing administrator.
Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Volunteer Marek[edit]

Hi Sandstein et al. I will do my best to respond promptly, but please allow me a bit of time. I should be able to write up and post a comment/reply by tonight, if not earlier.Volunteer Marek 19:03, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Some of the commentators have already hit upon the main points regarding this request below. In particular the first comment by The Devil's Advocate, one of the comments by Collect (which was removed - though it seemed germane to me), the comment by Mathsci, by Only in Death, by Nug and by Hullaboo Wolfowitz are all pertinent and on topic. Regardless, since I started writing this up before some of these comments were made (or moved, or removed etc), I will probably reiterate some of the same points.


  • The diff provided by Russavia is 20 days old. He himself seems to be aware that it is “stale”: [20] it would be amiss and inappropriate to take it back to the community at AE, only to have it closed as being "stale"
  • Apparently Russavia had already "reported" this diff to ArbCom and was told that it was going to be "dealt with" [21]. I take it to mean that the ArbCom decided that it wasn’t worth paying attention to since they did nothing in the meantime – i.e. they already "dealt with" it, by doing nothing. Hence, this report appears to be just WP:FORUMSHOPPING (i.e. “I tried to get ArbCom to ban him, and they didn’t do what I want, so I’ll try again in a different forum”)
  • Having said that, it’s true that another Arb (AGK) told Russavia to take it to AE [22]. This seems like an instance of the not so unusual phenomenon of members of the Arb Committee getting their wires crossed and contradicting each other.

Hence, it might be best to first inquire of the ArbCom as to whether this report is actually appropriate for AE or is it something they wish to/have dealt with.


  • I have no idea what this WP:ASPERSIONS is, or is supposed to be. It appears to have been created by Sandstein about twenty minutes AFTER the filing of this report [23]. And it appears to be a redirect to a completely different case. I have no idea how "Climate change" is supposed to be related to anything here.


  • The comment I made was before Russavia was unblocked and I had no idea he had filed an appeal.
  • The comment was on Jimbo’s talk page, which, as has been pointed out below, is a sort of "clearing house" for discussion of general Wikimedia related matters.
  • If there were any egregious "aspersions" in my comment, then Jimbo could have easily removed them or hatted them. He has done this in the past, it’s his talk page. He didn’t in this case. If Jimbo didn’t find any negative "aspersions" here, I’m not sure why AE admins should try and discover them on their own (in fact, if you’ve paid attention to Commons lately, you’ll see Jimbo himself making "aspersions" against Russavia and others himself over there).


  • I actually *WAS* under the impression that the interaction ban had been rescinded - there is link to Nug’s request below. Anyway, Nug requested that the interaction bans with Russavia were removed. I commented on that request and asked for that to apply to myself as well. The arbitrators at the time commented that this was indeed a good idea. I guess in the end the specific motion that was passed concerned only the filer, Nug, although the arbitrators spoke of plural editors (i.e. everyone who had an interaction ban with Russavia) [24]
  • Some comments from that request, which apply because of when my comment was made:
    • "I agree that there is little value in maintaining interaction bans that have been mooted by one of the parties being banned." (Jclemens)
    • "when that party returns to Wikipedia (Russavia), will the interaction ban save strife?" (Courcelles) <-- I think we know the answer to that one now!
    • "I don't see a particular need to retain this one, especially on the off chance that the conflict might resume once Russavia's current ban ends." (Kirill Loshkin) <-- quite prescient.


In light of the above, it is particularly significant that, best as I can tell, Russavia’s unblock/appeal was predicated upon good behavior. This presumably means not starting up with the Polandball stuff again, not violating his Eastern European topic ban (which he actually did violate recently, after this report, [25]) and especially NOT GOING BACK to the old battlegrounds. This report is the quintessential example of Russavia IMMEDIATELY restarting the old battlegrounds, along with vague references to his "agendas" [26]. Amusingly (or not) enough, since his unblock Russavia has already managed to accumulate several… "final warnings":

  • [27] “Final warning” by Arbitrator AGK
  • [28] Another “Final warning” by Arbitrator Roger Davies (with a minor correction [29] which explicitly tells Russavia to quit this kind of behavior. This one is worth quoting directly:
    • Russavia… I see a gulf between what you promised (in your appeal VM) and what you are doing
    • you are being, at best, truculent and, at worst, aggressively confrontational.’’
    • play nicely, stop throwing your weight around, and show some respect for other editors, whether you agree with them or not’'
  • This one’s not from an Arbitrator but it’s the same kind of warning [30]

That’s pretty much the context of this report.


  • Please note that I have not in anyway commented on or interacted with Russavia, despite my belief that the interaction ban was no longer in place, until that diff from 20 days ago, which, again concerned Commons goings on.
  • Please note that I have not in anyway commented on Russavia or interacted with Russavia, ever since he made his "return" to English Wikipedia.
  • And please note that I have no intention of commenting or interacting or going anywhere close to Russavia in the future.

As Collect said below (in a comment for some reason removed), the granting of his appeal could have been a great opportunity for Russavia to start with a tabula rasa, bury old grudges and forget old battlegrounds. I was and still am certainly hoping for that and will be quite happy to do my part if he chooses to take that path, rather than his present one, by staying out of his way. Volunteer Marek 18:46, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by The Devil's Advocate[edit]

The problem here is that Marek made the comment while Russavia was blocked and the block was set to expire months later with his appeal private so there is no reason to believe Marek would have thought that Russavia would be unblocked soon (indeed his comment suggests he was unaware). How interaction bans apply during a long block is not exactly a simple question. My belief is that such restrictions exist to prevent the two parties from interacting in a confrontational fashion and so enforcing them during long-duration blocks is not desirable as it is effectively punitive, though extreme cases can be different. I don't think this case is that extreme.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:13, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

@Sandstein Marek and Russavia have a mutual interaction ban per a subsequent arbitration case.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:30, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

As to Collect's diffs, the comment Russavia is talking about was made by YRC during the course of the Polandball AfD. You can see this from looking at the top of the ANI discussion linked in Collect's third diff.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:36, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  • On another note, this claim about the rescinding of the topic ban voiding the interaction ban is an interesting one, but it has actually been enforced several times since the topic ban was lifted on June 2010, with the case against Russavia last year being the most recent instance where Marek was blocked for a violation. I do not believe anyone was under the impression that the interaction ban was voided by the ArbCom motion in June 2010. My belief is that Erik's suggestion to re-affirm the interaction ban without further action is the best option.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 20:08, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Sandstein, I do not believe Russavia should be blocked at all for a single comment about the copyright status of a Bulgarian company's logo, let alone a year. That is ignoring the intent of the topic ban in favor of a rigidly legalistic interpretation. Escalating sanctions should be used for repeated egregious violations, not for trivial technicalities.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 23:16, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Collect[edit]

This statement has been removed by the undersigned administrator as off-topic because it is not related to conduct that is the subject of this request for enforcement, and/or does not contain evidence of recent sanctionable misconduct by editors that are parties to this request.  Sandstein  23:58, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Noting that germane material, in the opinion of the poster, was also removed, including diffs showing an apparent violation of the interaction ban by Russavia on Wikipedia, and the use of Wikipedia email to discuss VM, also contrary to the interaction ban. Collect (talk) 11:04, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Malick78[edit]

Part of this statement has been removed by the undersigned administrator as off-topic because it is not related to conduct that is the subject of this request for enforcement, and/or does not contain evidence of recent sanctionable misconduct by editors that are parties to this request.  Sandstein  23:44, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Back to the discussion though: VM was plainly goading Russavia against the spirit of the interaction ban. So ban VM. Malick78 (talk) 23:34, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

If Russavia's been goaded over a long period, are you really suggesting punishing him for mentioning that? That seems crazy and plays into the hands of the goader [Personal attack removed,  Sandstein  00:22, 25 March 2013 (UTC)].Malick78 (talk) 00:06, 25 March 2013 (UTC) (Moved from the results section,  Sandstein  00:09, 25 March 2013 (UTC))

Statement by Mathsci[edit]

There seem to be mitigating factors for both Russavia and Volunteer Marek.

It seems that Russavia, after his long absence, was not fully aware of the two-way interaction ban with Volunteer Marek. His statements about off-wiki events either in emails or on wikipediocracy are however irrelevant to this request. (Although it is irrelevant, I do not believe Volunteer Marek supported the off-wiki harassment of Russavia by certain agents on wikipediocracy.)

Volunteer Marek made his comments while he was under the impression that Russavia was still in the midst of a year-long AE ban imposed by WGFinley that was due to expire in May 2013. It is not clear that if editors are banned, they cannot be mentioned by those subject to an interaction ban. I assume for example that in the case of William M. Conolley, nothing would happen to him if he made a statement about Abd who is now indefinitely banned by arbcom from wikipedia. That is of course a very extreme case. At the time of the unforeseen unblock there was widespread confusion on wikipedia concerning wikipediocracy and Russavia. Volunteer Marek allowed himself to be caught up into that. The off-hand comments he made in a discussion on Pollandball jokes were unfortunate, but should be viewed in the context of that general confusion/drama.

The particular circumstances, including the timing of the unblock and the general confusion created by the wikipediocracy furore, seem to be mitigating factors for both parties and should diminish any sanctions being considered. Probably something more than a warning is required for both parties. Mathsci (talk) 00:31, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Russavia's diffs from Commons are inadmissible here and presumably will be removed by an administrator. He knows how WP:AE functions and that only on-wiki diffs are allowed. By deliberately ignoring that and bringing his disputes from Commons here, he has displayed a WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude, which should result in a block. Mathsci (talk) 03:37, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Delicious carbuncle[edit]

I'm not involved in this case, but Russavia's statement "VM accuses me abuse of tools on Commons because I blocked an infamous Wikipedia troll for doing what trolls do best - the troll being a fellow member of the off-wiki harassment site" apparently refers to me, since I am the editor Volunteer Marek asking to be unblocked. This is a clear personal attack and a return to the battleground mentality that Russavia demonstrated prior to his ban. Can someone please ask Russavia to strike it (and block him for the personal attack if he refuses)? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:48, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Russavia has clarified that although Volunteer Marek referred to me in his comment, it was User:Thekohser at whom Russavia was directing the personal attack quoted above. I apologize for the misunderstanding. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:07, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Only in death[edit]

Two small points.

1. Jimbo's talk page is used (like it or not) to discuss WMF-wide issues - other language wiki's, commons etc. The focus of this was Russavia's spreading of the racist 'polandball' meme across projects. While technically an IB is in place on en-wp, as this discussion was focused on non-en-wp issues some leniancy might be in order given Russavia was blocked (with no indication of being unblocked) at the time. Its one thing to comment on an editor at another project who is banned from here, its another altogether to deliberately bring up old discussions to settle scores on blocked users talkpages as Russavia has with YRC recently. If you want to get really rules-lawyerly about it, it can be argued VM's comments were aimed at 'Russavia - Commons admin and spreader of racist cartoons' rather than 'Russavia - Blocked EN-WP editor'.
2. Russavia is currently under a complete topic ban on polandball. As this AE request is not an appeal of that restriction - Russavia bringing up polandball and linking to polandball discussions is a violation of that Arbitration restriction on his return to EN-WP and as such he should be blocked indefinately. Sandstein - Do we need a new AE request for that? Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:29, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Administrative queries:
1) Only in death, in the above statement you refer to "Russavia's spreading of the racist 'polandball' meme". From what I remember (I closed the AfD about Polandball) that meme is perhaps silly and nationalistic, but not racist, in that it does not reflect a belief that Polish people are a "race" and as such inferior. Please explain why you should not be sanctioned for inaccurately accusing another editor of racist behavior.
2) I don't remember Russavia bringing up Polandball here. Please substantiate your statement by providing a diff of the edit in which he did so and a link to the arbitral sanction that he violated in doing so.  Sandstein  11:21, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
1. Specifically on EN-WP it had been culled prior to the AFD of most of the overtly racial stuff. Or it wouldnt have survived even that long. However if you look at the meme itself as used elsewhere (including other wikis) it primarily relies on negative racial stereotypes of polish people. I call that racist. Most of the world when asked if you stereotype a countries population negatively would call it racist. 'Silly and nationalistic' while accurate is a simplification of the intent and use of the polandball meme. And bear in mind I accused him of spreading a 'racist meme'. I could have phrased it as 'spreading a meme I consider to be racist' but thats overly wordy for the same meaning. That is quite different to accusing someone of racist behaviour. Even if ultimately the outcome is the same.
2. The accusing/offending Diff (As per Sandsteins request - see also diff at Tim_Canens talkpage where the same link to the polandball discussion was posted prior to this AE request.) of VM's on Jimbo's talkpage that Russavia linked above is a direct link to a polandball discussion. Unblocking notice courtesy of arbcom noticeboard. The relevant part would be - (quoted in the unblock notice) "We remind Russavia that, if he makes any further edits mentioning Polandball and similar cartoons (broadly construed), he will again be in violation of his topic ban". Linking to a discussion on Polandball is certainly an 'edit' regarding it under 'broadly construed'. As you know from your work at AE, far less directly related edits have in the past been found to be under restrictions under the 'broadly construed' name. Its impossible to have any discussion regarding that talkpage thread without mentioning polandball and involving Russavia. As its not an appeal of the restriction itself (Pretty much the only time you are under a topic/interaction ban where you are allowed to edit regarding it) how is it not gaming the restriction? (Genuine question, I would like to know the answer & reasoning if so) Regards. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:34, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Estlandia (Miacek)[edit]

I think that given Russavia's shortening of his statement at the moment we need to concentrate on the iBan breach by Volunteer Marek. The infringement was obvious and it is only complicated by the fact that he has been previously found to have harassed Russavia (and blocked for such behaviour) plus, indeed, the recent revelations that he's been keen on getting Russavia banned whatever the means.--Miacek and his crime-fighting dog (woof!) 13:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Nug[edit]

During the discussion regarding the lifting of my interaction ban[31], several admins commented on obsolescence of this last remaining EEML remedy which is now over three years old. John Carter mentioned the senselessness of enforcing iBans when one of the parties were site banned as it gives the site banned party undue control. EdJohnston recommended the Committee shoud pass a motion to lift all remaining bans and restrictions from the original WP:EEML case as it was now obsolete. Some of the Arbtrators thought that maintaining an iBan would save strife if Russavia returns, but now the iBan itself seems to be the cause of strife rather than being a safe guard. When VM commented on Jimbo's talk page there is no reason to believe Marek would have thought that Russavia would be unblocked soon. If this comment on Jimbo's talk page was so egregious, one has to wonder why it has taken Russavia so long to lodge a AE report or to complain to Timotheus Canens on March 24th[32] weeks after the event. Russavia's return seems to have been extremely drama filled with people being indef banned and admins desysopped, do we need yet more drama? Russavia and I were able to bury the hatchet, there is no reason why he and VM could do the same but the AE report doesn't help that process. Given that EdJohnston and some of the Arbs in my amendment request pointed out that discretionary sanctions still apply, the admins patrolling here have the discretion to suspend this iBan and simply close this with an appropriate warning to both parties. Let's not use this relic from the past to perpetuate old conflicts. --Nug (talk) 10:51, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

  • FWIW, after discussing VM on Timotheus Canens' talk page[33], the lodging of an AE report here is itself a breach, as WP:iBAN only allows asking admins for assistance once, and Timotheus Canens being a regular AE admin could have pursued the matter here at his discretion per AGK's advice[34]. --Nug (talk) 17:24, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Statement by Hullaballoo Wolfowitz[edit]

1. Jimbo Wales' talk page is used as a forum for discussion as part of legitimate and necessary dispute resolution, often centered on contested matters of policy rather than individualized disputes. Marek's comments there appear to be good faith efforts to participate in such a discussion. Therefore, I believe it falls outside the terms of the interaction ban.

2. Arbcom took the unusual step of rescinding rather than merely "lifting" the topic ban on Marek. "Rescind," as the article on Rescission states, carries the connotation of wiping an action out "(as if it never existed), rendering it void ab initio." That would mean that Marek would no have fallen under the interaction ban, which did not name him, but referred instead to all editors sanctioned. If this was not the Committee's intent, it should modify its action prospectively, but no sanctions against Marek should be enforced based on a ruling which does not clearly allow them. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 12:23, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

3. As for Russavia, he continues his unhappy practice of spreading lighter fluid on troubled waters, then tossing lit matches into it, and should be subject to whatever sanctions are appreopriate. WP is not his battleground.

Statement by (username)[edit]

I believe this request speaks for itself. Russavia is trying to circumnavigate his topic ban by asking another user to edit for him "if aspects might touch on areas covered by said topic ban".

Result concerning Volunteer Marek[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the section above.

Volunteer Marek result[edit]

The request appears to be actionable at first glance, not only as an interaction ban violation, but also because of the content of the edit submitted as evidence, which appears to me to be thoroughly at odds with the conduct principles the Committee formulated at WP:ASPERSIONS. But I'm waiting for a statement by Volunteer Marek.  Sandstein  23:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek hasn't yet made a statement. We can wait a little bit more, I suppose, but in the meantime we can already begin with the analysis of the request (update: he now has). I'll add to the following as time allows.
I. Formal prerequisites for arbitration enforcement: The request is actionable. In particular, the request is not stale. Russavia has shown that he raised the issue in a timely manner with an arbitrator, and that he did file this AE request as soon as arbitrator AGK told him to take the issue here.  Sandstein  20:00, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
II. Sanctionability:
II.a Interaction ban violation: It is evident that the statement at issue is within the scope of the cited remedy, which prohibits "commenting on or unnecessarily interacting with Russavia on any page of Wikipedia, except for purposes of legitimate and necessary dispute resolution". Whether it is sanctionable depends on the following:
  • Interacting with a blocked or banned opponent: The Devil's Advocate argues that interaction bans should not be construed as applying to interactions with longterm-blocked users. I disagree. The wording of the remedy does not contain an exception for interactions with banned or blocked users, and neither does WP:BAN. Nor is such an exception implicit in the remedy: An interaction ban is intended to deescalate conflicts. Because blocks and bans either eventually end or can be lifted, an interaction ban still has a rational purpose while an editor is blocked: it prevents the conflict from flaring up again as soon as the editor is again able to contribute. As such, we remain bound by the clear wording of the remedy, which does not except interactions with banned or blocked users.
  • Engaging in legitimate and necessary dispute resolution: WP:BAN#Exceptions to limited bans defines this as "addressing a legitimate concern about the ban itself in an appropriate forum", such as asking for clarification, reporting an interaction ban violation or appealing the ban. That was not what Volunteer Marek did here. Even without reference to the banning policy, I can't see how his edit at issue can be understood, as Hullaballoo Wolfowitz argues, as an attempt at dispute resolution, let alone a necessary one. The edit was made in response to a user's complaint about Russavia uploading an allegedly objectionable image on Wikimedia Commons. It consisted, as will be discussed below, of a broad range of very serious accusations against Russavia. Even if there had been at the time a dispute on Wikipedia between Volunteer Marek and Russavia that needed resolution (which is difficult to imagine, as Russavia was at that time blocked and interaction-banned), this comment could in no way have been helpful for resolving that dispute. Rather, it is exactly the sort of inflammatory attack that interaction bans are intended to prevent. Consequently, Volunteer Marek can't avail himself of the "dispute resolution" exception.
  • Effect of the rescission of the topic ban: Hullaballoo Wolfowitz also argues that because the Arbitration Committee "rescinded" Volunteer Marek's topic ban, he was no longer subject to the interaction ban. This argument has merit. The restriction at issue reads: "The editors sanctioned by name in this decision [are interaction-banned]". After the Committee rescinded the topic ban of Volunteer Marek, he was no longer an editor sanctioned by name in the decision. This raises the question of whether the reference to "editors sanctioned by name" was meant to be static, i.e., whether it was meant to apply in perpetuity to the editors sanctioned at the time of the decision, or dynamic, that is, dependent on whether the sanction is still in force. Either interpretation is possible in good faith. In view of this ambiguity, and in the spirit of nulla poena sine lege certa (pardon the legalese), I consider that the interaction ban is now either inapplicable or unenforceable with respect to Volunteer Marek.
II.b Content of the edit at issue: Apart from the issue of the interaction ban, we must examine whether the edit is sanctionable for its aggressive content. The edits mostly consists of wide-ranging allegations of offproject misconduct against Russavia, without evidence. Even if it stops short of incivility or personal attacks, it is not the sort of communication that is conducive to the collegial collaboration in the creation of an encyclopedia - rather, the contrary.
III. Appropriate sanction (if any): As HaugenErik suggests below, I think that the best thing to do here is to (re-)impose the mutual interaction ban on both editors, as a discretionary sanction per WP:ARBEE. The events surrounding this request have made it clear that they're not yet done with slinging mud at each other. We could block them for doing that, sure, but an interaction ban is less coercive and perhaps more effective at preventing the re-occurrence of such conduct. This would also have the benefit of clarifying the status of the existing interaction bans. As outlined above, Volunteer Marek's is ambiguous, and so is Russavia's: it applies to "editors from the EEML case". This inartful wording does not make clear what an "editor from" the case is: one party to it, or sanctioned in it, or...?. For these reasons, I submit that imposing a clear mutual interaction ban appears most appropriate here. This is without prejudice to deciding what to do about the separate issues with Russavia's conduct that still require examination in the subsection below.  Sandstein  20:19, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm somewhat sympathetic to Volunteer Marek's 4th point about the ban being lifted. A lot of commentary by arbitrators considering Nug's motion could give Marek reason to believe that the ban was not in effect. Also, I am sympathetic to Marek's point about forum shopping; a Committee member has already considered this and done nothing. I don't understand the point of enumerating Russavia's alleged violations and warnings considering that Marek is not asking for us to take any action against Russavia at this point, though. But given that no further disruption has occurred in the last 20 days, perhaps if we reaffirm that the interaction ban is still in effect that will be sufficient for these two editors to "[stay] out of [each other's] way", as they both seem to want to do. HaugenErik (talk) 19:51, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with Sandstein that just because it is on Jimbo's talk page does not make it "legitimate and necessary dispute resolution", and that the tone and content was not helpful. HaugenErik (talk) 19:55, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not buying the 'rescinding' argument but I'd still propose to close this request with no action against Volunteer Marek. It's reasonable that he could have been unclear on whether his comment on Jimbo's talk page violated the interaction ban. See my other comment below in the 'Russavia' section. EdJohnston (talk) 20:17, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • But do you disagree with reimposing the mutual interaction ban as a discretionary sanction, since it is not quite clear whether it still applies?  Sandstein  06:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Question: Is Volunteer Marek sanctionable? Eastern European mailing list (EEML) remedy 11A ('Editors restricted') holds "The editors sanctioned by name in this decision are prohibited from commenting on or unnecessarily interacting with Russavia". Marek was sanctioned in that decision, but he no longer is because the sanctions were vacated by the committee in 2010. I am therefore not entirely sure whether the generalised interaction ban stands. If the enforcing administrators hold that the ban does stand, then I would not seek to change their mind, but the procedural basis for this complaint is worth considering. AGK [•] 17:43, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I discussed this above and concluded that the status of Volunteer Marek's interaction ban (and Russavia's reciprocal interaction ban) is, for the reason you mention, too ambiguous for the ban to be enforceable.  Sandstein  17:47, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Russavia result[edit]

I'm concerned that in making this request for enforcement, Russavia has gone beyond what is necessary to call attention to a violation of an interaction ban, and has additionally made very serious allegations of misconduct against Volunteer Marek, such as "long-term harassment", without providing recent and actionable evidence (e.g. in the forms of diffs) for these allegations. This is potentially problematic (see, also, WP:ASPERSIONS), and is likely to rekindle the conflict which the interaction ban was apparently intended to quell. Additionally, I note that the interaction ban imposed in WP:EEML#Editors restricted is unilateral – that is, according to its wording, it only restricts certain editors from interacting with Russavia, but not Russavia from interacting with these editors. I have serious doubts that unilateral interaction bans such as this are practical, as this request shows. Consequently, I consider that we should (as a discretionary sanction) extend the interaction ban to be bilateral, such that it also covers interactions by Russavia with the other editors referred to in the Committee's ban. I invite comments by my colleagues about this.  Sandstein  23:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, The Devil's Advocate, for pointing out that the interaction ban was already made bilateral in Wikipedia:ARBRB#Russavia restricted. In view of this, I consider that Russavia's allegations of (longterm, offproject) misconduct against Volunteer Marek in this request violate that interaction ban because, without actionable evidence, they are not made in the course of "necessary dispute resolution". Comments?  Sandstein  23:36, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I've removed Russavia's extension of his statement, in which he alleged misconduct by Volunteer Marek on Wikimedia Commons, as beyond the scope of this project's dispute resolution process. I'm linking to the statement here because, as Delicious carbuncle points out, it contains a personal attack that I think should be taken into consideration in the response to this request. Again, I ask all editors to please stop escalating and complicating this process by digging out months-old disputes and grievances. This thread must remain limited to the request at hand, and the related recent conduct of the two editors who are party to it. I will consider a response to this request, taking into account the conduct of both parties, after we have a statement by Volunteer Marek, or failing that about 24 hours after the request was made.  Sandstein  06:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I note that Russavia has removed the parts of his request not related to the interaction ban issue, which I think is a good idea. I ask Volunteer Marek to please only respond to what now remains. We will still need to address the violation of Russavia's interaction ban that occurred by him raising these other issues here in the first place.  Sandstein  11:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I think Russavia has gotten the point and that no further sanctions/etc are needed here. I can see how Russavia thought the (now removed) material was relevant context, although I agree that it is best to not discuss it here. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:47, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • We should wait to hear a response from Volunteer Marek. His post on Jimbo's talk page mentioning Russavia does appear to violate his interaction ban from Russavia, as imposed in the original WP:EEML case. Russavia and Volunteer Marek will both be well advised not to send any email to the other, though the language of WP:IBAN does not forbid that. I agree with Sandstein that this AE request will be more appropriately handled with no mention of the conflict between the two parties on Wikimedia Commons. EdJohnston (talk) 17:47, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I've left a comment above proposing that Volunteer Marek not be sanctioned, even though his post on Jimbo's talk technically violates the interaction ban. I'm also proposing this request be closed with no sanction against Russavia, but I suggest he reread the comment that Roger Davies left on his talk page (since removed):

    I took no part in your appeal but, on reviewing the correspondence, I see a gulf between what you promised and what you are doing. In particular, you are being, at best, truculent and, at worst, aggressively confrontational. I suggest you play nicely, stop throwing your weight around, and show some respect for other editors, whether you agree with them or not. Remember: appeals can be rescinded as ArbCom retains jurisdiction over all matters it hears.

Russavia, you will soon need a personal assistant to restrain you from shooting yourself in the foot. Please try to stay off the admin boards for at least a few weeks and avoid leaving messages for arbitrators if you are hoping to make a successful return to the English Wikipedia. Anyone who steps the through the recent history of your talk page looking for better behavior will be quickly disappointed. EdJohnston (talk) 20:28, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Regarding Nub's comment that bringing this here is a breach of the ban, I'm pretty sure AGK's comment there directs Russavia to bring this here, not T. Canens. I don't think Russavia's bringing this here is breach of the interaction ban. HaugenErik (talk) 19:06, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • OK, to sum up, for the reasons explained above, the imprecisely worded interaction ban that Russavia is subject to ("editors from the EEML case") is ambiguous for the same reason Volunteer Marek's is. I therefore propose not to sanction them for their respective violations of their interaction bans, but to make them both subject to a new discretionary sanctions interaction ban, which is clearly still needed.

    But we need to also address this edit of 25 March 2013 by Russavia, which was mentioned in Volunteer Marek's statement. The edit is a violation of Russavia's Eastern Europe topic ban because it concerned File:Bulgarian Telecommunications Company logo.jpg and raised an issue of Bulgarian copyright law (Bulgaria being a country in Eastern Europe). The last block for violating this topic ban was one year in duration, so according to a normal escalation pattern the new enforcement block would be one year in duration also (that being the maximum allowed). Comments?  Sandstein  14:51, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

    I think we can probably overlook this, given how insignificant it was; it may even have been unintentional, as claimed. Nobody, not even Volunteer Marek, seems to be complaining about it. Russavia appears to be being very careful about the applicable bans, so I'm hopeful there won't be a problem here. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 01:05, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
    Agree with Erik that the logo of the Bulgarian telephone company isn't significant enough to issue a sanction to Russavia for. I'm OK with establishing an indefinite WP:IBAN between Volunteer Marek and Russavia by a discretionary sanction if Sandstein believes the status is unclear. EdJohnston (talk) 01:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
    I don't agree with your assessment that the topic ban violation shouldn't be sanctioned because it is "insignificant". Per WP:BAN#Bans apply to all editing, good or bad, what matters is not the content of the edit, but the fact that it violated a topic ban, the last violation of which led to a one-year block. We would be remiss in our duty to give meaning to arbitral sanctions if we were to ignore this violation brought to our attention by Volunteer Marek here. In this case, the topic ban was explicitly maintained by the Arbitration Committee, and was the subject of an additional warning by an arbitrator ("You must not have anything to do with ... Eastern Europe in general ... when you are editing the English Wikipedia."). Consequently, I am blocking Russavia in enforcement of the topic ban, but considering your objections I am reducing the duration of the block to two weeks, so as to give it more the character of an additional severe warning. As to the interaction ban, we don't seem to disagree here, so I'm imposing the sanction and closing the thread.  Sandstein  07:02, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Only in death result[edit]

There was some talk above about sanctioning this user for using the term "racist" inappropriately. This term is often used loosely to describe other kinds of prejudice other than those based strictly on race. Our own article on racism notes: "Some definitions of racism also include discriminatory behaviors and beliefs based on cultural, national, ethnic, caste, or religious stereotypes." I don't think the definition of the term is tight enough to view this as being "inaccurately accusing another editor of racist behavior". ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:36, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I think that we can forgo sanctions in this case, although the use of "racist" here appears questionable enough that I intend to issue a WP:ARBEE discretionary sanctions warning to Only in death if they haven't already got one.  Sandstein  20:22, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I disagree; I don't think any warning is needed or appropriate. Are you saying it is questionable to use the word "racist"? Or do you think it was questionable to make the point that VM's post on Jimbo's page was an attempt to make Jimbo aware of offensive cartoons and the context around them and therefore not a violation of the interaction ban? Either way, while I disagree somewhat with Only in death's main point, I don't think it was at all inappropriate to make this argument, nor do I think anything was inappropriate with the way it was made. I note that several other people on Jimbo's talk page used the term "racist" to describe the cartoons, and that EdJohnston agrees here with Only in death's argument, or at least part of it. I do think Only in death's other argument, that Russavia is violating the topic ban by bringing up the diff here, is ridiculous. HaugenErik (talk) 21:31, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't support any sanction to User:Only in death on this complaint. We don't need to reach a finding on whether 'racist' is a correct description of the cartoon to get the main problem resolved about VM and Russavia. Also, if there are too many rules about what you can say in an AE request it could make it hard to speak clearly about anything. I have nothing against Sandstein's worthwhile efforts to restrict this AE to manageable scope by excluding things that happened outside the English Wikipedia and excluding issues that go too far afield. EdJohnston (talk) 01:55, 28 March 2013 (UTC)