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Rusf10 is warned against using purely personal opinion in place of policy-based argument when assessing the quality of sources. They are also warned against engaging in WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior and assuming bad faith in other editors. ~Awilley (talk) 03:41, 4 July 2018 (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 Rusf10[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Volunteer Marek (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 07:40, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Rusf10 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Search DS alerts: in user talk history • in system log

Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/American politics 2#Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff): Also BLP
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 

1.June 26 Asserts, without evidence, that a living person (David Cutler) " hates Donald Trump". Also asserts that the subject (Cutler) is "fringe theorist" because "he's a professor, he's liberal, he's worked in Democratic administration". Apparently being a liberal academic automatically makes you "fringe".

The same comment (as well as some others, see below), also makes some concerning assertions concerning reliable sources:
  • "That's another fallacy, because something is published in a medical journal, it must be creditable."
  • "But because this guy is an academic (over 90% of which happen to be liberal), we're supposed to believe that is of high integrity and wouldn't just write a political piece"
  • " I wouldn't trust anything this guy says." - apparently because SOME OTHER academic did something at sometime (it's not exactly clear)
Generally Wikipedia considers academic, scholarly sources to be top-quality sources, better than newspaper articles, magazines, etc. Taken together with other comments, it's pretty clear that Rusf10 has the polar opposite view - according to him academic sources are the least ones we should trust. This is an explicit admission that the user is not willing to follow our policy on reliable sources when it comes to articles concerning American politics.

2.June 25 "Drmies, is under the false impression that everything published in an academic journal must be true which is really no more intelligent than saying "I read it on the internet, it must be true"" - appears to say that stuff published in academic journal is no better than "stuff found on the internet". Again, a pretty fundamental opposition to our policy on reliable sources.

3.June 26 " You don't have any intent to follow WP:NPOV, since its clear that you here to push a certain viewpoint, so don't lecture me on policies." - Attacks other editors and ascribes motivations to them rather than discussing content.

4.June 26 Doubles down on the "hates Trump" BLP violating claim because... he looked at the guys twitter which apparently has some criticism of Trump's policies. It should be obvious that being critical of some Trump policy is not the same thing as "hating" Trump.

More minor (at least IMO) but still problematic

  1. June 25 "Daivd (sic) Cutler worked in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, so don't try to act like be is some highly-respected non-partisan scholar" - this is also border line BLP vio (Cutler is actually very very highly respected)
  2. June 24 "You clearly don't like Trump and that's fine, but it doesn't mean you get to trash his article" - Unnecessarily ascribes motivations and beliefs to other editors
  3. June 24 WP:NOTAFORUM violation
Diffs of previous relevant sanctions, if any 


Note: @Fish and karate: despite what User:Lionelt insinuates, I don't have a topic ban on Donald Trump. User:JFG is also incorrect that I am "restricted" from that article. The only thing here is that I told NeilN, after he asked, that I'd leave the article alone for a few days. Also I have not cast WP:ASPERSIONS against anyone. I presented diffs in an appropriate forum. If you don't find these convincing, that's fine. But it's not aspersions, it's dispute resolution. You should also look at the diffs provided by User:MrX below.

Note: In this diff I am pointing out that just because there is the "standard disclaimer" on the piece ("does not represent the views of blah blah blah"), that does not make it an opinion piece. Lots of peer reviewed publications have these, it's just legal ass covering. And while Newsweek may call it "an opinion piece" I was objecting and still object to the proposition that this academic source is in any way comparable to "opinion pieces" published as editorials in newspapers and magazines.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:09, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)


For post 1932 American politics

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

Here is the broader discussion. Rusf10 appears to have a... strange, idea of how academia and academic publishing works. He also appears to be reflexively distrustful of academic and scholarly sources. Several users, including User:Drmies and User:Neutrality have tried reasoning with him and explaining to him how it works, but it fells on a bit of deaf ears.

Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Rusf10[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 Rusf10[edit]

This is a waste of everyone's time and should boomerang on Volunteer Marek just for bringing this here. Is he really trying to take me to AE because I said a professor "hates Trump"? Regardless of whether or not he truly hates him, its 100% he doesn't like him, so this request is really petty. What Volunteer Marek doesn't want you know is that I'm criticizing an opinion piece being used as a reliable source. I never said everything published in an academic journal is not reliable, but an opinion piece that has not been peer-reviewed with a disclaimer is probably not reliable. Any claim that 80,000 people are going to die should obviously be viewed with skepticism. And this edit came right after VM said "And again, your comment basically indicates that you have no intent of following Wikipedia's policy on reliable sources (you dismiss academic and scholarly sources out of hand)." [2], so how is what I said any worse? The reset of the diffs VM provided are even more petty, so I'm not even going to respond to them. One thing is clear, VM doesn't like his views challenged.--Rusf10 (talk) 08:46, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

  • @Volunteer Marek: I presented diffs in an appropriate forum. If you don't find these convincing, that's fine. But it's not aspersions, it's dispute resolution. That's a dishonest statement. This forum is not for dispute resolution, its for bringing sanctions. And you know that too because you been here many times before. If there wasn't a reason for a WP:BOOMERANG before, now there is. You should also look at the diffs provided by User:MrX below. Those are even worse than the one's you provided and several are taken out of context.--Rusf10 (talk) 17:42, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Drmies:I thought you'd sit this one out, but since you're here, let me point out that your behavior here is troubling as well, especially for an admin. to start you just accused me of having a " complete lack of knowledge of how science, publishing, and peer review works" and being a "nihilist."
  • Threatening me "OK, so here we have another editor referring to an article in JAMA as "piece of garbage". You have disqualified yourself for this discussion, and from any future RS discussion you partake in." [3]
  • Personal attack on another editor (not me) "First stop gaslighting with your "don't like someone's expressed opinion". "It seems that you are expressing an opinion"--yes, I am, but it has nothing to do with politics. My opinion is that you are not capable of judging what is and what isn't a reliable source, given your comments here. "[4]
  • " I know Trumpers don't like science" [5]
  • "That the right would go post-truth, who could have thunk that two decades ago. " [6]

@NeilN: In that diff, I was trying to make the point that an opinion piece published anywhere (including a medical journal) is still an opinion piece. Perhaps I could have said it differently, but this came after Drmies attacked me. Here is his comment which I was referring to [7]. Being that he is an admin, I took that to be a threat. And now he has come here and piled on even more personal attacks. Look at the diffs I posted, Drmies behavior is clearly unacceptable for an admin.--Rusf10 (talk) 02:22, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

  • @Fish and karate, NeilN, Masem, Vanamonde93, MastCell, and GoldenRing: :I appreciate that at least a few of you can see that the other side has behaved in a manner that is at least as bad. However, some of you seem to be giving the other side a pass (maybe because you agree with their viewpoint?). No one has commented yet on the diffs I provided of user:Drmies. Is there some unwritten code that admins can't criticized other admins? Again, I hate to keep repeating myself, but the "source" is an opinion piece that appears with a disclaimer and has not been peer-reviewed, something Drmies refuses to accept. Let me just say that getting something published as an opinion piece in JAMA means it's solid, it's peer-reviewed, it's been vetted more than most other pieces of writing, and that because it is an opinion piece a whole bunch of other editors besides the usual reviewers have looked it over. [8] and then again he insists that its peer-reviewed here And user:Volunteer Marek refused to accept that it was an opinion piece. That actually DOES NOT make this "an opinion piece". [9] Not an "opinion piece" [10] And I provided two sources that back up that this is an opinion piece and not peer-reviewed. [11] [12]. Of course user:MrX then tried to have Newsweek thrown out as not reliable. [13]. You cannot admonish me or topic ban me (since a couple of people have called for that) without doing the same to others. I'm glad that at least Fish and karate & Masem see both sides of this, but am troubled that some of you cannot.--Rusf10 (talk) 17:55, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

@Drmies: Consider striking your response. First as reported by Bloomberg (last I checked, that's still a reliable source) "The essay, which was not a formal peer-reviewed study" [14]. Now either you're wrong or Bloomberg is wrong, which is it? It seems to me that you are the one who chooses to ignore reliable sources if they don't fit your POV.--Rusf10 (talk) 01:44, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

  • @NeilN: I also haven't seen any links in this request leading to sources that dispute the facts of the piece.With all due respect, there are no facts in the piece to begin with, that's why its an opinion piece. There is no detailed explanation of how they came up with the numbers, so that makes it very difficult to analyze. Part of the numbers came from a paper that the Obama administration released about how many lives were projected to be saved by new regulations on fuel economy standards [15]. For example, the number they pulled from that paper (5,500) is not a conservative estimate or even an average, it is the largest number found in the report based on a one particular "expert opinion".--Rusf10 (talk) 23:36, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @SPECIFICO: I admit I could have toned down my language a bit, but I had a point. And to call for an indefinite tban over one incident is absurd, especially coming from you. You recently got off with a warning for you behavior [16] and you've been to AE far more times than me. Also, what really irritates me here is that most of the admins are giving Drmies a pass and whatever warning (or ban) I get, he clearly deserves the same.--Rusf10 (talk) 19:34, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @SPECIFICO: It is not WP:ASPERSIONS when it is backuped up by evidence, the evidence being past AE requests against you for which you have received warnings. It is very hypocritical for you to call for extreme sanctions against me, when your questionable behavior has been treated very leniently.--Rusf10 (talk) 20:22, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

@Fish and karate, NeilN, Masem, Vanamonde93, MastCell, GoldenRing, Awilley, TonyBallioni, Bishonen, and Black Kite: I'm sorry to ping everyone again, but I really want to know how any of you in good consensus are about to let USER:Drmies off scot-free when he continues to personally attack me. I don't suffer fools (well, foolishness) gladly [17] If that's not WP:BATTLEGROUND, I don't know what is.--Rusf10 (talk) 18:17, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Lionelt[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Volunteer Marek banned from the Trump article? – Lionel(talk) 08:49, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Statement by JFG[edit]

Content dispute, RfC in progress, nothing to see here. — JFG talk 09:55, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

@Lionelt: VM is only restricted from editing the Donald Trump article. This thread is about Presidency of Donald Trump. — JFG talk 09:55, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

To admins reviewing the case: it seemed to me that AE's goal is to discuss editor conduct, not litigate content disputes. But since the discussion has evolved into an analysis of the disputed source's validity, let's take a look. Most of the comments supporting the use of this source as a credible study lean on appeal to authority: "the authors are recognized experts", "Harvard is a serious university", "JAMA is a reputable journal". Yes, yes, and yes, that is not the issue. The fundamental problem that is still being debated at the ongoing RfC and at RS/N, is that some editors are conflating JAMA as a peer-reviewed journal and the JAMA Forum, which by their own disclaimer, is only a repository for opinion pieces.[18] Special congrats to the reporting editor here, Volunteer Marek, who first seemed blind to what JAMA stated,[19] then waved it away saying "it's just standard legal-ass-covering and nothing more",[20] and finally came here while the content dispute is still in full swing to get a dissenting editor sanctioned. OK, that's an opinion piece which should have some more weight than a random blog because of the reputation of the writers, however that is still not more than an opinion piece, a fact that should be taken into account according to our sourcing policies. Usage of this particular report is problematic due to the dire consequences predicted, pinned on speculation about long-term effects of the recent relaxing of various EPA regulations. On its face, the source sounds like political scaremongering, and this is probably why it has been so much disputed, both at Wikipedia and in secondary sources. In light of this controversy, I would find it particularly wrong-headed to heap sanctions on an editor who forcefully defends one view of this study, while excusing other editors who forcefully defend the other side. Civility is not great on either side of the debate, so that AE sanctions for this reason would also be unfair. Again, that is a content dispute, let it be resolved at the appropriate forums. — JFG talk 10:52, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Statement by SPECIFICO[edit]

As documented in the diffs VM provided, Rusf10 has openly explicitly and repeatedly denied core WP sourcing policies and gratuitously defamed living persons whose professional work was under discussion on the article talk page. This user has failed to respond to the pleadings of numerous editors who have explained this problem and why such behavior is unacceptable. This editor has already drained way too much time and attention, and despite all these good faith attempts to redirect Rusf10's behavior, he has chosen to continue and to escalate his rhetoric. This user has rejected core WP policies and Guidelines and should be TBANed from BLP and American Politics articles. SPECIFICO talk 12:32, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Rusf10's insipid rebuke of Drmies is all the confirmation we need to know that he is unwilling to abide by WP norms in these articles. SPECIFICO talk 18:51, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

@GoldenRing: The proposed article content stated the authors' finding as such and with attribution, not in WP's voice. These are notable scholars writing in the field of their expertise. Several times on the talk page it was pointed out, this would be valid article content even if it appeared in their self-published blog. Attempts to disparage the authors as "fringe" and WP editors as dishonest POV-pushers have nothing to do with any "content dispute". BTW, I also see similar over the top interpersonal interactions in this user's history in entirely different contexts. But at any rate, with the explicit Civility Sanction on the current article, there's not much question about his violations. SPECIFICO talk 11:56, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm puzzled as to why the only discussion among Admins now has narrowed to the detailed wording of a prospective warning when there were many Admins considering an indefinite TBAN. Even if the latter does not happen, there's a lot of daylight between that and a -- let's face it -- meaningless "warning". There's lots of disruptive behavior that might arguably be prevented by a warning. An explicit rejection of WP sourcing and content policy cannot be changed by a warning. (cannot be changed, that is, if we assume it was a good faith statement of Rusf10's understanding and belief and not a (blockable) bad faith gaming of the discussion thread. For the avoidance of doubt, I read it as the former. SPECIFICO talk 18:08, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

@Rusf10: wrote, especially coming from you -- considering that the proposed wording of your lenient warning is already on the table, WP:ASPERSIONS in plain sight of the volunteer Admins here more or less proves the warning is a waste of their time. Bans of some duration are clearly required. Moreover I just commented above that Rusf10's incivility is the least of the issues here. Incivility might have been cured (notwithstanding the above), but denial of the 5 Pillars can't be cured when there's no indication that Rusf10 understands what a Reliable Source is, what an attributed opinion is, and our standards and practices for each. SPECIFICO talk 19:59, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by MrX[edit]

As evidenced by Volunteer Marek, Rusf10 is exhibiting consensus-inhibiting behaviors described in WP:GAMING, WP:NPA, and WP:BLP. Specifically, personal attacks, filibustering, ad hominems about academic sources and similar disparagement of living people, assumptions of bad faith.

  1. Falsely claims that Al Gore predicted that the world would end in 2016 - False claim about a living person
  2. "... its clear that you here to push a certain viewpoint, so don't lecture me on policies." - Assumption of bad faith
  3. "This is being pushed into the article because it fits into the narrative that Donald Trump is evil." - Assumption of bad faith and politicizing disputes
  4. "Sorry, I have to correct you, but one of the authors of this piece of garbage was a woman" - Incendiary rhetoric
  5. "(any more stupid questions?)" - Assumption of bad faith
  6. "And I now know that David Cutler worked in the Clinton and Obama administrations, so he clearly has a bias." - Ad hominem

A few of such comments could be dismissed as roughhousing, but the intensity and frequency have become disruptive. In fairness, I will say that Rusf10 has made a number of constructive comments at other article talk pages.

Also, there is no basis whatsoever for sanctioning Volunteer Marek.- MrX 🖋 15:17, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Pardon me Fish and karate, but did you really just call my above examples "misrepresenting others contributions out of context" and "shockingly poor form", and suggest that I be warned for it? I'm not even sure how to react to that, but "shocking" is an adjective I might use. Please explain how any the above six diffs misrepresent what Rusf10 wrote.(Note: This is not a rhetorical request; I would like for you actually do it, as required by policy). Please also clarify, for future reference, what the expectations are for quoting a user's comments as evidence at AE. The widespread practice that I've observed is to quote the offending sentence or phrase, and link with a diff to the full comments (which, by the way, also shows the full context). In fact, there is a 500 word limit at AE, so how exactly would that work? Should entire conversations be copy pasted here? I can do that now if that would help you to gain clarity about where sanctions should be applied. Please advise. - MrX 🖋 11:54, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • No Rusf10, I did not try to "have Newsweek thrown out as not reliable." I said "I wouldn't put too much stock in what Newsweek writes. It used to be a somewhat reputable publication, but not so much now", and I provided some evidence. I never dismissed it entirely. It's generally fine to use Newsweek (in fact I did yesterday), but if they are the only source reporting something, I would proceed cautiously. - MrX 🖋 18:30, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes Fish and karate, referring to a scholar's published work as garbage, when multiple editors are explaining why the work is valued, most definitely qualifies as incendiary rhetoric. If you plan to shoot the messenger by giving me a logged warning (which is an admin action), I would fully expect for you to explain your reasoning and you should expect a full appeal. - MrX 🖋 21:07, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies[edit]

I'm just baffled by some editors' opinions which betray a complete lack of knowledge of how science, publishing, and peer review works. That someone could think that an opinion piece in JAMA wouldn't be vetted is amazing to me, and that this would be equivalent to "something on the internet" is ... well. So in that sense, given that kind of lack of understanding, it may well be a good idea to ban them from sensitive areas. I just looked at all the opposes in the discussion, and one or two make the argument that it's UNDUE right now (User:Markbassett argued along those lines)--that's valid. What is different for this editor is not just the empty argument (they're not the only one) but also sort of nihilism which in the end undercuts RS, for starters. Drmies (talk) 16:35, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

  • I see that Rusf still maintains that something marked "opinion" in a peer-reviewed journal is not peer reviewed. As in the famous presidential "both sides" remark, there is no "both sides" here: false equivalency. Reasonable people can disagree on how to weight the particular article (written by two scientists and published in a scientific journal), of course, but it is not reasonable to disregard basic facts. Perhaps the editor could stop pinging me until they learned to sing a different song. Drmies (talk) 01:12, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Rusf10, that the article didn't present the results of a peer-reviewed study does not mean the article itself was not a peer-reviewed article. Seriously, seriously, you are still proposing that JAMA publishes something without peer-reviewing it. Das crazy. The journals I work for don't even fart without an editorial meeting, and none of those rise to the stature of JAMA. For the audience who may not be familiar with academic peer-review--nothing gets published in one of those journals without being peer-reviewed. That includes everything: articles, studies, opinions, bibliographies, reports on academic activity, book reviews--nothing. I'm sure the president's address is peer-reviewed. Drmies (talk) 01:49, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • GoldenRing, yes. First of all this "within a few hours of the journal receiving it"--your link points at coverage of the 2012 Presidential Campaign. If you're suggesting that that editorial commentary on how JAMA was covering the 2012 campaign means that "all pieces in the JAMA forum are run within hours of reception" then I think you're seriously wrong. Second, you seem to reinforce what some parties here say too: if it's not a formal peer-reviewed study, if it's opinion, if it's on a forum (and I think you throw in "blog" as a loaded term), then it's a peer-reviewed article and there's no editorial oversight. Again--as if there is nothing in between some blog and "a gold-standard reliable secondary source" (I have never argued that this one meets a gold standard.) So, if you are giving me the option of being either incompetent or "glaringly deceptive", I'll choose to just ignore that, and I'll rather listen to and learn from editors with tons of article space edits, content editors who have written articles, who have experience with using and judging sources. Drmies (talk) 17:50, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm cheered by the fact that any warning for me will come from one individual administrator, as matters currently stand. I hope that editors who know me a bit know that I value only the BLP more than I value RS (and that I edit and administer in that way regardless of the article subject), that I don't make a habit of camping out on political articles, and that I certainly don't try to turn things into a battleground; it is true, of course, that I don't suffer fools (well, foolishness) gladly. If that one admin wants to admonish me for that, so be it. Drmies (talk) 16:28, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish[edit]

Volunteer Marek says, 'I ... object to the proposition that this academic source is in any way comparable to "opinion pieces" published as editorials in newspapers and magazines.' I looked and it is not an academic work. It's an opinion piece by academics published in the section for those in a journal. Just go read it. It is absolutely, positively an op-ed, not a science paper. The fallacy "It's in JAMA ergo it's a high-quality piece of academic research" is the same fallacy as "It's in The New York Times so it must be high-quality, secondary journalism." Publications have more than one kind of material, and an op-ed is an op-ed, an ad is an ad, a book review is a book review, and an advice column is an advice column (hint: all primary, not secondary). That an opinion piece in JAMA was vetted is immaterial; it's still opinion. NYT op-eds are subject to editorial review, too. The problem is the nature and purpose of the work. It's the kind of thing we'd use as "According to an op-ed by [Whoever], ...", iff the quotee was eminent and quoting their view was relevant and WP:DUE. Unlike some well-researched NYT op-eds I've seen, this one does not provide citations for the potentially secondary factual claims it makes, so we can't really evaluate them. It may be high-quality, but it's still primary.

Both editors at the center of this are generally constructive. I'm inclined to stay out of the inter-editorial personality clash (the more recent-ish range of the WP:ARBAP2 topic area is a cesspool). I noticed at ARCA today that ArbCom is saying "Either have AE deal with this case-by-case, or open ARBAP3", and some parties lean toward the latter. I'm not sure there's much point in AE hearing mini-cases like this in the interim, but that's up to you all. This ultimately boiling down to treating an op-ed as if it were secondary science sourcing can be addressed head-on, however. It's a fundamental misunderstanding of our sourcing policies and guidelines. It's not constructive to try to bend our policies to say what they don't and fire up a huge pissing contest in the process. Just follow the damned policies.

I think this may relate to a blind spot among the WP:MEDRS crowd more than to ARPAP2. It's a guideline subject to near-total control by a handful of editors and never subjected to thorough examination by the community. There's a serious conflict with policy in it which I've tried to address several times, and it directly relates to this matter: a belief that primary sources (even press releases and position statements) by respected medical publishers transmogrify somehow into "ideal" secondary sourcing. In a post today [21] at WP:VPPOL in a thread largely about ARBAP2, I explicated this in some detail – starting at "Even MEDRS has an error in it in this regard ..."). Update: Moved to essay page: WP:FMSP#MEDRS. I think this is worth RfCing, because the problems it's causing are clearly spreading from medical articles to other topics like politics.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  19:39, 29 June 2018 (UTC); updated: 06:31, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Re Geogene's statement below: "Gun nut" operates exactly like the N-word and dyke: it's only non-pejorative when used between those to whom it pertains, a re-claimed epithet turned into an insider slang subcultural endonym. In short: if you're not a gun nut talking with other gun nuts, using "gun not" is always a pejorative.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:22, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Kingsindian[edit]

This is mostly a content dispute. I fail to see how this behaviour rises to the level of sanctions.

Rusf10 responded to an RfC and argued about the inclusion (or not) of an analysis by David Cutler. I mostly see good-faith arguments on the talk page by Rusf10. There is little or no disruption. The purpose of an RfC is to invite comments by a broad cross-section of people. This will necessarily include badly argued or incorrect comments.

Claiming that a person X "hates Trump" is not ideal and Rusf10 should refrain from saying that. However, it's rather a stretch to claim that this claim is a BLP violation. Kingsindian   13:03, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

NeilN's comments are extremely strange and very bad. There is nothing wrong with a Wikipedia editor describing a piece of analysis as "garbage". That is clearly a personal opinion, and people are allowed to have opinions. Denigrating some source is not a BLP violation; I have denigrated plenty of sources in my own editing on Wikipedia. One has to allow a certain bit of leeway to discuss the reliability and due weight of a source during discussions.

Here's the basic point. The piece is an informal analysis by an expert in the field, who also happened to serve in the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Both things are true: he's an expert, and he is associated with past Democratic administrations. Thus, this should be seen as an intervention by a "public intellectual" on an important matter. That does not mean that the estimate is automatically wrong (indeed, I support inclusion of the material). But it is not illegitimate to discuss the provenance of the source during an RfC discussions, nor is it illegitimate to say that estimates of this kind are often rather dubious. Prediction is hard, see Expert Political Judgement for instance.

Personal opinions about all sorts of things are flying on the talk page. For instance, to take a very simple example: Drmies writes I know Trumpers don't like science, just below an "Oppose" vote. This is, to put it mildly, rather inflammatory, not to mention a snide personal attack. I know American politics is rather ugly nowadays, but come on.

Here's the main point: discussing the provenance and reliability of a source is fair game, and some leeway should be allowed on the talk page. The focus should be on disruption; is Rufus10 edit-warring or otherwise disrupting the process? I don't see any evidence of the latter. Rather, I see good-faith (though mistaken, in my view) arguments on the talk page. Kingsindian   23:50, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Statement by MjolnirPants[edit]

@GoldenRing:"Peer review", like almost every other jargon term, has two distinct meanings. The first is a formal system of review by properly credentialed experts prior to publication as an article in a scientific or scholarly journal, which usually occurs in a well-defined system, with rules and procedures. The second is that someone who knows what they're talking about read it and was okay with publishing it. This piece certainly meets the second definition, and I'll eat my shoe if anyone can prove otherwise. JAMA forums and the associated blog is not a Forbes site, where any popular enough writer can write about whatever they want. Hell, their about us page explicitly states that "we have assembled a team of leading scholars" to write the articles that appear therein, and I've yet to see an article on that site that isn't on a subject the author has immaculate credentials in. While these articles are subject to the usual disclaimers ("the opinions herein are those of the authors...," the same disclaimers that cover a huge swathe of our sources), JAMA clearly directed an effort to produce these articles. They were subject to editorial oversight. Let me reiterate that last, with some relevant details pointed out: They were subject to the editorial oversight of one of the most well-respected publishers of scientific literature in the world. To refer to that as "peer-reviewed" in an offhand way is unusual, but hardly without precedent, and not even close to unjustifiable. Hell, with the phrase "Let me just say that..." Drmies was explicitly laying that out as a heuristic; he wasn't saying "this article was peer reviewed" (which is defensibly true, as I just pointed out) but "you can think of this article as peer-reviewed, for all intents and purposes."

In light of that, your comments about Drmies look like a failure to AGF at best, and a blatant personal attack at worst. I'm going to give you the same advice I frequently give to brand new editors, because it seems you need it: don't be afraid to ask for clarification if someone says something confusing or inexplicable. A strawman is a strawman, whether you built it on purpose or not. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 04:45, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Dlthewave[edit]

We can certainly discuss the provenance of the source, and Rusf10 makes a reasonable point regarding peer review, but this is not how we discuss sources. The author of this opinion piece fits all the requirements: he's a professor, he's liberal, he's worked in Democratic administration, he hates Donald Trump. And its was published in an academic journal. This argument is not policy-based, yet Rusf10 continues to bring up these points even after they are rejected by other editors. This type of activity obstructs the consensus-building process and is a tremendous time sink. Worse yet, it creates a toxic environment that drives good-faith editors away from the areas where they are most needed. I would also remind admins that when an editor disrupts a discussion by filibustering or framing it as a content dispute, they will often continue this behavior at AE. The success rate of this tactic is embarrassingly high. Rusf10's statement exceeds 1000 words, so it may be time to enforce the word count limit. Editors should be able to present their side of the argument but this does not necessarily mean that they may respond to others' comments. –dlthewave 05:01, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Seraphim System[edit]

I don't think the JAMA article is the greatest source for the statement Based on the regulatory impact analysis done by the EPA when the rule was implemented (as well as otheranalyses), repealing the rule would lead to an estimated 36 000 deaths each decade and nearly 630 000 cases of respiratory infection in children alone. or cost the lives of over 80 000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for many more than 1 million people." - I think the two authors are qualified based on their backgrounds and field of expertise, but the statement itself is based on 3 sources and it lacks context—it doesn't help that the EDF study is even more problematic. On its face, this does not seem like it would be due for inclusion, but whether it is secondary or primary for the 80,000 figure could be argued either way. I wouldn't even say this is an "opinion" piece in the usual sense. We have particular standards for "isolated studies", even for peer-reviewed studies that explain their methodology and analysis in depth - which I think is non-optional for this type of content, and I can understand why someone would object as most of these underlying sources would benefit from a more detailed secondary analysis then just accepting at face value "based on the regulatory impact statement" ... there must be hundreds of studies out there. But is a sanction necessary here? It just seems like this whole thing has gotten blown out of proportion. Seraphim System (talk) 06:47, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken[edit]

This concerns me:

The author of this opinion piece fits all the requirements: he's a professor, he's liberal, he's worked in Democratic administration, he hates Donald Trump

I'm old enough to have lived through several periods of strong partisan divisions in this country, and I recognize that we're living through one of them now, perhaps the deepest one in many decades, but is concerns me that a Wikipedia editor would believe that simply because someone worked in some capacity in a Presidential administration, that automatically makes that person a die-hard Democrat, or Republican, or a liberal, or a conservative, to the extent that it totally overwhelms the credentials that got them the position in the first place.
Yes, there are political hacks in all administrations, and some have more than others, but exceedingly few people in this country ever get called upon to work for the White House, and it's disheartening to think that any Wikipedia editor would believe that simply because someone answered that call to duty, they automatically chucked their learning, knowledge, good sense or morality out the window and became a blind automaton enslaved by Party dicta. Possibly that does happen to some who didn;t start out that way, but it can't (and shouldn't) be assumed that it happens to everyone, or even most of them. Just as we evaluate every source for reliability, each instance should be taken on an individual basis, determined by what is known about the person and their qualifications.
To reject the views of apparently well-qualified people simply because of the assumption of bad faith based on their service in a Presidential administration or the like is simply wrong and should have no part in any discussion here on Wikipedia, where we should be (but aren't, unfortunately) above that sort of thing.
So, in my opinion, if anything needs to come from this, a warning to Rusf10 that that kind of behavior is not acceptable here is that thing. Whether their other behavior is worthy of sanctioning, I have no opinion on, not having parsed the evidence sufficiently. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:54, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Sir Joseph[edit]

I echo everything Kingsindian said. I was hesitant to post anything, but I do feel that what KI said is what I wanted to say, among other stuff. I especially echo his part about Drmies' comment regarding Trumpers and about the "garbage" opinion, Sir Joseph (talk) 20:13, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Pudeo[edit]

Since the conduct of Drmies is being discussed as well, I was put off by his response to another editor with "I hear this all the time from gun nuts" at AR-15 style rifle (June 3 2018) Gun control is another topic covered by sanctions. GoldenRing is right here. --Pudeo (talk) 23:49, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Geogene[edit]

"Gun nut" is a frequently used colloquialism, not a pejorative. I also think that digging an entire month into Drmies' edit history, and then complaining about something they said in a completely separate DS area, is unseemly. Geogene (talk) 00:27, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by (username)[edit]

Result concerning Rusf10[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • Definitely no action to take here, this is a nonsense. I'm inclined to wonder whether VM's Donald Trump topic ban needs to be broadened a little bit to cover closely-related articles. I would note he has an arbitration sanction which states he is "strongly warned against casting general aspersions against editors who [he sees] as "pro-Trump"." Fish+Karate 11:18, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I would note that MrX's suggesting this (read it in context with the post to which it's replying) is "incendiary rhetoric" is very, very unfair. @Vanamonde93: My thoughts are that this is a quibble over whether or not a source is reliable or not between two very stubborn people who have opposing views on the matter. What it is not is something that should result in a sanction. I can see Rusf10's point, in that the source in question, although it has been published in a journal, is an opinion piece on an environmental issue written by two social scientists which was not peer-reviewed (as per this) so what it contains ought not to be taken as a 100% stone cold fact and ought not to be granted the same level of credibility as a proper, peer-reviewed, scientific study. So I do think in this instance Rusf10 was not acting from an incorrect starting point. I can see Volunteer Marek's point, in that the approach Rusf10 is taking is rather bulldozery and argumentative. I would love for them both to be able to work out the issue and then leave each other alone. Wikipedia has tens of thousands of editors and you don't need to fight every battle. And more to the point, you don't need to see them as battles in the first place. Fish+Karate 08:38, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
@MrX: While I am not obliged to justify my statement as per the link you provided, as they are not an administrative action, I will do so anyway, but I’m on my phone so that’ll have to wait til Monday now as it’ll take forever this way. In short though if you honestly, truly think “incendiary rhetoric” is a reasonable summary of a mild and polite correction then I don’t think you’ll accept anything I say. Fish+Karate 19:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Fish and karate: I'm actually not so bothered by the "not everything in journals is reliable" diff. Questioning a source based on the quality of the publication is necessary. Questioning a source based on partisanship isn't, because WP:NPOV and WP:RS make no allowance for supposed partisanship. I am more bothered by stuff like this, together with persistent assumptions of bad faith. That said, I'm not in favor of sanctions either. I would suggest a warning, which I'll try to put together below. Vanamonde (talk) 09:08, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Vanamonde93: I think a warning (possibly to both parties) around combative attitudes is reasonable. Fish+Karate 09:15, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @NeilN: I would agree with most of what Rusf10 said in that diff. It's not right to assume everything published in every journal is the gospel truth, particularly if the work in question is explicitly described as an opinion piece. I wouldn't agree with his first sentence, but I can see what he's trying to say overall, albeit not particularly collegiately. Fish+Karate 08:42, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I would caution Rusf10 against expressing his personal views about the work of living people so forcefully (diff 1) and to take care when summarizing other editors' views (diff 2). Diff 2 is particularly concerning because if Rusf10 feels that's an accurate view of Drmies' position then I have to question if they are able to participate productively in this area which often requires the careful reading and summarizing of source material. No action against VM. --NeilN talk to me 14:43, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Too many cases have passed by AE /ArbCom where editors have expressed negative opinions of BLPs but these simply go as non-actions within these , as 1) its a problem through WP, there's no reason to single out any one person unless we're going to go full bore across all editors, which would hit a lot of established editors, and 2) most of the time, it's clear these are opinions and not factual claims, to any casual reader. I agree that all editors should be asked to tone down any personal feelings they have towards BLPs as per NeilN above, and to try to argue for inclusion or omission of BLP material without getting into their personal opinions of said BLP. It helps to avoid the BLP line and can reduce the battleground mentality editors seem to have in these areas. --Masem (t) 15:42, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
  • While Rusf10's commentary on talk pages is far from ideal (stuff like this being a case in point), I don't see a need to sanction them from a BLP perspective, though I would agree with NeilN that a caution is in order. I am far more concerned at their misunderstanding of NPOV. They seem to be under the impression that neutrality has something to do with finding an arbitrary midpoint between two arbitrarily divided political positions in one country; which has nothing to do with how Wikipedia defines neutrality. We define NPOV in terms of significant viewpoints in reliable secondary sources. Now Rusf10 is welcome to disagree with that definition, but they are still required to edit within it, and their commentary about academic publishing suggests that they may not be able to do so. This problem goes deep, and is not something that can be sorted out by a block or a restricted topic-ban; and I'm not keen on imposing a sweeping t-ban right off the bat. So, I would support a strongly worded warning, with the expectation that further evidence of misunderstanding NPOV and our concept of reliable sources may result in a wide topic-ban. There's also the issue of their continued assumptions of bad faith. Since this request has been open for a while: @Fish and karate, NeilN, and Masem: what are your thoughts? Vanamonde (talk) 05:10, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Without opening up that discussion here, that stance on NPOV is very much debatable and has been at the center of many many disputes for at least 4+ years, and remains an issue (see , for example, this recent VPP discussion. So no, we cannot fault them on how they view NPOV; where we can find fault if there is any here is in aspects of related to WP:TE or WP:IDHT behavior if the talk page consensus has come down one way or another that we can talk some type of action against. --Masem (t) 05:26, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Masem: Feel free to ignore my definition of what NPOV is not; but my statement of what it is is from the policy, nearly word for word, and if we're unwilling to enforce that we have a problem. Vanamonde (talk) 05:41, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Let me restart: while that is what NPOV says, that wording is a point of contention for 4+ years, moreso in the last two (that link one example of considering what's wrong with NPOV that could be addressed) Rusf10's free to question the particular application of NPOV in a contentious area (keeping in mind that even policies are not absolute), but has to avoid the TE/IDHT in the same discussions if a consensus had previously been reached about how NPOV applies. --Masem (t) 05:58, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Sorry, Masem, while I might agree with you that the wording of NPOV has been contentious and that Rusf10 is free to question it, they should not be free to question it in particular applications of the policy. Just for our own sanity, we can't have editors relitigating the meaning of the policy every time there is an RfC on the use of a particular source and to do so is nakedly disruptive. If Rusf10 wants to change the policy, then there are venues available to try to do so and they should use them. So, to the degree that this is a dispute about the meaning of NPOV, Rusf10 should have the policy explained to them and be warned that fighting over the text of policy on article talk pages is disruptive and could lead to sanctions.
    For the rest of it, I read through the discussion a few days ago (a little after this complaint was filed) and haven't looked at it since; it struck me then as a simple dispute over whether a source should be regarded as a reliable. If that is still in dispute, it is a straightforward matter for RSN to decide. I don't see the BLP portion of this complaint as actionable; that same statement has me far more worried that Rusf10 is treating the dispute as a battleground - David Cutler "fits all the requirements," by which I think he means all the requirements for certain editors to want the material included. I'm not in favour of sanctions yet, but if Rusf10 continues down this path they will come. GoldenRing (talk) 07:21, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Precisely. You don't have to agree with the policy (I dislike parts of it myself), but if you want to change it, VPP is thataway. In all specific cases, you've to follow it as written. Vanamonde (talk) 07:56, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @Fish and karate, Masem, GoldenRing, and NeilN: Apologies for the many pings What do you think of the following: "Rusf10 is warned not to assume bad faith in other editors and not to treat Wikipedia as a battleground, and is reminded that disagreements with policy should be brought to the community rather than litigated on article talk pages." Vanamonde (talk) 09:47, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
    I'm ok with that in and of itself but would change "warned" to "reminded" (let's not assume bad faith ourselves). It is missing any reference to the other party, though, who should be trouted for bringing this bunkum to ARE in the first place, and I'd be inclined to warn MrX about misrepresenting others contributions out of context, which is shockingly poor form. Fish+Karate 10:02, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
    @Fish and karate: I'm unimpressed with Marek's language (as I've frequently told him) but I was involved in a content dispute with him over the 1973 Chilean coup some three years ago, and though it makes not the slightest difference to my judgement here I will stick to the letter of the law and not comment on sanctions with respect to him. I haven't reviewed Mr. X's conduct in detail yet, but I will do so, and if you wish to propose something in the meantime please go ahead. Vanamonde (talk) 10:07, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
    Fine with the strongly worded warning to Rusf10, but I do think a caution to all editors involved to turn down the battleground mentality is needed. As I mentioned above, this seems to single out one bad actor among several simply because they have a certain ideological stance compared to the others. --Masem (t) 13:31, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
    I am almost prepared to give Rusf10 a topic ban here over their JAMA comments. If you are calling something published in a very solid source (as determined by other Wikipedia editors - not me) "garbage" you'd better have other solid sources that detail why that piece is garbage, and not just your own personal opinion. That is blatant POV editing. I agree with Vanamonde93 and GoldenRing in saying that admins uphold written policy as it stands. I disagree with Fish and karate that VM deserves any warning. --NeilN talk to me 13:36, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm with NeilN; the JAMA comments by Rusf are substandard enough that I'd consider sanctions on those grounds. This diff alone encapsulates an impressive volume of fallacies and misunderstandings of policy, aggravated by the aggressive ignorance he's displayed in the thread in question. Just in that one diff:
  • "Drmies, is under the false impression that everything published in an academic journal must be true..."... Drmies neither said nor implied any such thing; this is a bad-faith misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
  • "... which is really no more intelligent than saying "I read it on the internet, it must be true". Advocating for JAMA as a reliable source (which it is) is quite different from claiming anything on the Internet must be true. This is, again, a bad-faith misrepresentation. It also indicates a deep misunderstanding of policy; one fundamental determinant of reliability is the venue in which a claim is published. Rusf chooses to ignore this, and to pretend that it makes no difference with regard to reliability whether a source is published in JAMA or on a random website.
  • "BTW, I forgot to mention that I believe the guy who wrote this is an economist, not a environmental scientist, which gives him even less creditably" [sic]. The piece in question was written by two people, not one "guy". One of the two authors is a statistician who specializes in climate change and health policy. It's somewhat ignorant to suggest that an economist is unsuited to comment on the impact of policy changes on measurable outcomes (that is, after all, one key aspect of economics), but it's worse to misrepresent the article's authorship in an attempt to undermine it.
  • More generally, Rusf's tone in this entire thread is aggressively partisan and displays either ignorance of, or contempt for, basic site policy on sourcing. I don't doubt that there are other offenders in the topic area, and identifying and handling Rusf's editing doesn't give them a pass. But this is obviously someone whose input in the topic area is a massive net-negative in terms of both tone and content, and this is exactly the sort of behavior that we need less of. Discretionary sanctions exist to deal with this kind of thing. Like NeilN, I would favor a topic ban, although I recognize that I'm in the minority. At a minimum, it should be made clear to Rusf that his behavior isn't appropriate and that, if it continues, a topic ban will result. MastCell Talk 15:11, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • The latest response by Rusf10 is not encouraging. Paraphrasing what I said on my talk page, Rusf10 is free to argue about the appropriateness of a source without stating a piece he personally disagrees with is garbage and a fringe theory and providing no evidence. That is POV editing (similar to when an Indian editor dismisses out of hand all works by Pakistani scholars) and that kind of editing will get you topic banned. --NeilN talk to me 19:11, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I read the "Survey" section at this revision. It's really not good. Basically, Rusf10 decides that a source which backs a position he doesn't like isn't reliable, despite a large number of people pointing out its provenance; then decides that one of the scientists involved is biased because of a poisition they previously held, calls the source (in the JAMA, no less) "a piece of garbage" - and then baldly states "I just proved the source is not creditable", despite having done absolutely nothing of the sort. I'm with MastCell and NeilN here. Topic ban. Black Kite (talk) 20:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm for a topic ban also. A contentious ARCA was just closed,[22] where several people asked for a more forceful use of discretionary sanctions at AE for the "shit-show" that is the American Politics area — or, failing that, for a whole new arbitration case, American Polics 3, to clean it up. I quote Tryptofish, with italics seeming to express some despair: "I cannot emphasize strongly enough how the present situation has arisen through a failure of AE. ... DS do not mean take a minimalist approach. The entire point of ArbCom issuing DS in a topic area is to empower admins to act quickly and decisively in a topic area where all other forms of dispute resolution have failed. Admins: when DS exist, your hands are not tied...The one way we can avoid an AP3 case is for AE admins to continue to hand out topic bans in AP2." I agree, and the case of Rufs10 is a case in point, per the examples given by MastCell, Neil, and Black Kite. Warnings for editors who behave like this are pretty useless in my experience. Bishonen | talk 07:44, 30 June 2018 (UTC).
    @Bishonen: I find myself in the odd position of disagreeing with you, but hear me out, if you will. I agree completely that we need more forceful application of DS. That said, I don't think we should jump to levying sanctions without previous warning. I think it's fairly reasonable to say that a user should receive a warning about sanctionable behavior from neutral admins, and a sanction only if they fail to heed the warning. Particularly in situations like this, where we don't have bright-line policy violations, only indications that they may not take a policy seriously enough. Vanamonde (talk) 12:28, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • My difficulty with all this is that I do think Rusf10 has at least a bit of a point about that source. Combatively stated and over-the-top, yes, but fundamentally he has a point, and I'm disappointed that respected names who really should know better are here arguing that JAMA forum should be treated as a gold-standard reliable secondary source, as though it was part of JAMA's print output, and to my mind this is equally a failure to understand our sourcing policies. The piece is published by a recognised expert and shouldn't be treated te same as anything you read on the internet. But according to JAMA, their forum is a blog that presents opinion articles, only published online separately to the journal content, that was founded to give opinions on political events in the run-up to the 2012 US presidential election. The articles are "lightly edited" and are expected to be published "within hours of receiving them." In that light, I take a particularly dim view of Drmies, who has said, it is now blatantly obvious you don't understand how this works ... it's hard for me to gauge the depths of your ignorance of the academic publication process ... Let me just say that getting something published as an opinion piece in JAMA means it's solid, it's peer-reviewed, it's been vetted more than most other pieces of writing, and that because it is an opinion piece a whole bunch of other editors besides the usual reviewers have looked it over. He has rather hammered this point home, too, describing other editors as being like watching a bunch of school kids discuss quantum mechanics. I just can't see how his claims about the nature of the article can possibly be true, given what JAMA themselves say about it. Are we to believe that "it's peer-reviewed, it's been vetted more than most other pieces of writing, and that because it is an opinion piece a whole bunch of other editors besides the usual reviewers have looked it over" ... within a few hours of the journal receiving it? Either Drmies is flat-out wrong and has put their foot in their mouth in no uncertain terms or, if we are to believe what they say about their own expertise in the field of academic publishing, they are being deliberately deceptive. User:Drmies, have I misunderstood something here? Can you explain the glaring discrepancy between what you say about this publication and what the publication itself says about it? GoldenRing (talk) 10:16, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @GoldenRing: Rusf10's implicit assertion is that JAMA would publish garbage and fringe theories in this venue. Do you think Bob from Baltimore's treatise on how putting fluoride in the water is a government conspiracy to control our brains would be published here? Or would JAMA's editorial board exercise discretion? I also haven't seen any links in this request leading to sources that dispute the facts of the piece. Looking at the RFC, I see the proposed wording did not present the numbers in Wikipedia's voice and explicitly attributed them to an analysis by two authors. The editors who supported inclusion of the text may have overstated their case, conflating editorial review and discretion with peer review, but that is not remotely equivalent to writing off the analysis as garbage and fringe theory based on no evidence. A logged warning to Rusf10 is the least we can do here. I know I will be topic banning Rusf10, logged warning or no, if similar behavior occurs in the future. --NeilN talk to me 18:07, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
It's an entirely mainstream view. Every other Western government accepts and uses exactly this kind of estimate, but in the GOP these days it's "scientific heresy".Which is of course an oxymoron. Guy (Help!) 22:18, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
@NeilN: No, I don't think that Rusf10 has behaved well here and I'm still in two minds about the appropriate response; I've argued above that a strong warning is in order and realistically that is probably the minimum that should be levied. My problem is that Rusf10 (and others, notably PackMecEng) originally pointed out that the piece is an opinion piece and not subject to a peer review process; they were rather viciously belittled for being so "ignorant" about how the academic publishing process works when in fact they were exactly right. That doesn't excuse Rusf10 escalating the rhetoric further; but honestly I think telling an editor "it's hard for me to gauge the depths of your ignorance" and comparing them to an old lady who glues pictures to the wall thinking it's facebook is a pretty incendiary thing to say and I'm not surprised that Rusf10 responded in the way they did. If Drmies was right about the nature of the source, then he might have had a sliver of a point; when he was largely wrong about the nature of the source, from such an established editor such uncollegial snark is absolutely inexcusable. Or so I think, at any rate. GoldenRing (talk) 11:57, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
@Drmies: What??? The piece I linked was the article, published in JAMA by JAMA's editors, where they launched JAMA Forum and describe its purpose and how it works. Yes, it was launched in the context of the 2012 election; I'm not sure how you go from there to "it's irrelevant." What you said about the source in question was, "it's solid, it's peer-reviewed, it's been vetted more than most other pieces of writing, and that because it is an opinion piece a whole bunch of other editors besides the usual reviewers have looked it over" and made repeated personal attacks on other editors who disagreed with you (diffed above). I'll ask you again: how do you reconcile what you said about the source with how the editors of JAMA describe JAMA Forum as working? Could you, just possibly, be wrong, and owe a few editors an apology? GoldenRing (talk) 08:15, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I have spent some time today reviewing the RfC thread where all this happened. I have a few thoughts on this. The proposed wording, in my opinion, did slightly overstate the case in that it was written as if there had been a peer-reviewed study. I didn't notice anybody overtly claiming the study was formally peer-reviewed, but I can see how Rusf would have thought that people were thinking that. So it was fair game for them to point out that it was was an opinion piece, not a peer-reviewed study. Had they stopped at that we wouldn't be here. Unfortunately the rest of their contributions to the thread put them decidedly in "net-negative" territory and make me question whether someone who so casually equates scientists with cable news "pundits" or who suggests that academic journals are about as true as anything you happen to read on the internet, can be trusted to follow our sourcing policies. On top of that there was the bludgeoning and strawman arguments and the attacks on other editors. I think a logged warning is an absolute minimum, but I don't know what it should say, and I don't know that it will do any good anyway, because I don't think Rusf understands what the problem is. ~Awilley (talk) 04:13, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Proposed wording of warning: "Rusf10 is warned against using purely personal opinion when assessing the quality of sources used in the area under discretionary sanctions. Specifically, when calling a source fringe theory or similar, and that source appears in a publication generally held reliable by Wikipedia editors, Rusf10 must provide links to other reliable sources that explicitly share the same assessment about the source. Rusf10 is also warned to make sure their summaries of other editors' views about sources are accurate." --NeilN talk to me 12:04, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @NeilN: Two points; I'm not too happy about the statement about fringe sources, because such sources are very rarely dealt with by mainstream sources (because they are fringe) and therefore trying to prove a source to be a fringe source is often an attempt to prove a negative. Second, I do think the warning should include assumptions of bad faith on Rusf10's part. Vanamonde (talk) 12:12, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Vanamonde93: What wording would you suggest to warn Rusf10 against dismissing sources appearing in reliable publications as garbage with no evidence to back up their assessment? --NeilN talk to me 12:44, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @NeilN: I think the first part of what you proposed is just fine: I'd suggest phrasing it as "Rusf10 is warned against using purely personal opinion in place of policy-based argument when assessing the quality of sources." Vanamonde (talk) 12:54, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Vanamonde93: That sounds all right to me. The only little quibble I have is that not all valid reasons for objecting to a source are listed in policy but admins can use their judgment if the behavior occurs again. Any suggestions for the assuming bad faith warning? --NeilN talk to me 15:01, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'd also like to see something about not escalating disputes; is there anything wrong with "warned to assume good faith, work collegially and not to escalate disputes?" It's generic, but covers the bases. GoldenRing (talk) 15:33, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • That sounds like it would be covered by a warning to not engage in WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior. ~Awilley (talk) 15:36, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • "Rusf10 is warned against using purely personal opinion in place of policy-based argument when assessing the quality of sources. They are also warned against engaging against engaging in WP:BATTLEGROUND behavior." GoldenRing, any warning for Drmies? --NeilN talk to me 20:18, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
    @NeilN: That sounds good to me, though I would add "...and assuming bad faith in other editors." Vanamonde (talk) 03:49, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Regarding Rusf10, that works at a pinch. I think what's wrong with their editing has been hashed out pretty thoroughly here and if they don't change it's going to escalate pretty quickly. And yes, I think Drmies should likewise be warned against battleground editing - in particular belittling other editors. GoldenRing (talk) 09:06, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
    I will do the logged warning for Rusf10. GoldenRing, whether or not to log a warning for Drmies is up to you. --NeilN talk to me 12:43, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
    Works for me. I would object to the warning for Drmies. Their tone near the end wasn't ideal but doesn't rise to needing a logged warning in my opinion. Also I don't see anything approaching a consensus for warning Drmies in this section. In fact I can only find one admin (GoldenRing) who who specifically took issue with Drmies. ~Awilley (talk) 15:50, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I saw this on Drmies’ talk, so I came to see what the fuss was about. He’s not misrepresenting anything: he’s saying that peer-reviewed journals have a reputation to protect and that while an opinion piece may not rise to the level of an academic article, they aren’t going to simply allow some crazy person to publish absolute nonsense. There is a gradient between blogs from Randy in Boise and the opinions of academics who have published in peer-reviewed journals that are hosted by a very prestigious journal, even if not subject to formal peer-review (see WP:SPS, which this isn’t, but it makes the central point pretty clear.) Yes, these are opinions and they should be reported as such and not in Wikipedia’s voice, but a warning to Drmies here would be highly inappropriate. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:14, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Rusf10, the admins here don't see Drmies' posts as problematic as yours. Simple as that. --NeilN talk to me 20:34, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Rusf10, I've never issued a sanction or formal warning to anyone for saying that they don't suffer foolishness gladly, and I'm not planning to start now. More generally, I agree with Tony's and Neil's comments directly above mine. The problem here is that you took a source that obviously met reliability criteria and tried, aggressively and at length, to disqualify it as unreliable, using arguments grounded in partisanship and your personal distrust of scholarly work in general. If you don't understand why this sort of behavior is destructive, then a warning is pointless and a topic ban is the more appropriate sanction. MastCell Talk 00:38, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Dan the Plumber[edit]

WP:ANEW is the right venue but I will handle this. --NeilN talk to me 23:47, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
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Request concerning Dan the Plumber[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
Huldra (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 22:20, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Dan the Plumber (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 20:52, 6 July 2018 removes RT source
  2. 21:01, 6 July 2018 removes RT source again, in article under 1RR

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  • Alerted about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, see the system log linked to above.
  • Gave an alert about discretionary sanctions in the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 15:00, 3 July 2018

Additional comments by editor filing complaint 

I asked him to revert, User_talk:Dan_the_Plumber#1RR, but he replied that "RT is not a RS". (What I can see from Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard it has been discussed many times, it looks as if it can be used with attribution.) Huldra (talk) 22:20, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

I thought this was the place to report him, but is WP:AN/3 the correct place? Huldra (talk) 23:18, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 

Discussion concerning Dan the Plumber[edit]

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Administrators may remove or shorten noncompliant statements. Disruptive contributions may result in blocks.

Statement by Dan the Plumber[edit]

If I reverted some RT report it was because it was superfluous, and not necessary. Using RT on Syria related articles is a provocation really anyhow, and hardly innocently used. On Terrorist showing up , I want to state the Wikipedia Username policy that usernames that are provocative are meant to be prohibited. The following is s serious report. Terrorist, Huldra, and your ilk, look at this report, serious report, but you couldn't give a stuff could you. Yu'r more exrcised by this here 1RR report aren't you. Scary.

Statement by Shrike[edit]

This is not correct forum for this complain.Its not arbcom decision so there nothing to enforce.Shrike (talk) 22:41, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken[edit]

I agree with Shrike, but also wish to comment that RT is not a reliable source for much of anything, considering that it's a Russian propaganda outlet. Its use should be highly circumscribed - probably only to represent the official Russian government opinion on something, as it is not an independent source. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:08, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by terrorist96[edit]

He was warned 3 days ago here [23] Terrorist96 (talk) 23:11, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Result concerning Dan the Plumber[edit]

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


No action. Sandstein 20:15, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
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Request concerning Icewhiz[edit]

User who is submitting this request for enforcement 
MyMoloboaccount (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) 22:49, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
User against whom enforcement is requested 
Icewhiz (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

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Sanction or remedy to be enforced
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Eastern Europe#Standard discretionary sanctions.Not complying with Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines in regards to Wikipedia:Do not create hoaxes, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, and Wikipedia:Civility - entering information citing a source, which does not appear in the source, falsely claiming about a source.Icewhiz has engaged in falsification of sources, constant edit warring, ethnic based insults and remarks, and presenting the most tendentious and inflammatory remarks aiming at provoking other editors, as well as edits that can't be seen as anything other but attempts to stir up conflict and fights with other editors.
Diffs of edits that violate this sanction or remedy, and an explanation how these edits violate it 
  1. 08:35, 10 June 2018Icewhiz falsified a source stating that villagers massacred by Soviet/Jewish unit were supposedly hunting down Jews.I checked the source and there is nothing about Naliboki village on page 280.There is mention about Jewish partisans raids in Naliboki Forest on page 283 and their attacks against local population and subsequent fights which authors show as example of change from victim to perpetrator role. Naliboki village and Naliboki forest are two different locations. To make it easier, I even uploaded a screenshot from the source in question showing that there is nothing about Naliboki villagers attacking Jews on page 280[24]. After pointing this out to him, Icewhiz claimed the statement about Naliboki village inhabitants hunting down Jews is on page 283. Here is the screen of page 283-nothing about inhabitants of Naliboki village doing such a thing[25].This is a gross falsfication of a source and serious accussation.
  2. 22:09, 28 June 2018 Here user Icewhiz removed information that Poles were target of genocide by Nazi Germany under the claim "unsupported by source"I have uploaded the screenshot of the source in question and underlined that indeed does state that there was genocide[26].
  3. 22:52, 28 June 2018 , Icewhiz claimed there is no mention of genocide in the source, and that Nazis didn't genocide Polish people, just "mass extermination of leadership" and "reprisal killings" which according to Icewhiz "wasn't genocide". Again this is falsification of the source, and inflamming of the discussion.
  4. "He's advancing polocaust, which is quite fringey" 20:02, 9 June 2018 Ethnic based deregatory term and statement that information about Nazi Germany engaging in genocide against Polish people is "advocating fringe polocaust". This is a gross violation of civility and a very disturbing ethnic based remark.
  5. Obviously, it is possible to find polophilic writers in English 18:04, 9 June 2018 (UTC) Ethnic based attack to discredit sources as non-reliable.
  6. I have seen him described as a "polophile" 9 June 2018 Ethnic based accussation to discredit a scholar as non-reliable source.
  7. Our article at present is a one-sided modern Polish narrative 14 March 2018.About about massacre of Polish villagers including women and children, where Icewhiz engages in ethnic based accussation and attributing a single view of the world to a nationality.
  8. 10 June 2018Stating that largest Polish anti-Nazi resistance group Home Army is responsible for deaths of 100,000-200,000 Jews, using a quote by controversial author that doesn't even have anything about Home Army in it.False sourcing, and falsification.
  9. 04:18, 22 June 2018 Stating that Polish civilians attacked in massacres and raids by Soviet and Jewish partisans were engaging in theft of Jewish property. Icewhiz's comment seems to be nothing more than attempt to provoke other editors here.
  10. we wouldn't add such a section to the Nazi Party 19 June 2018,Certainly - we describe crimes by the Schutzstaffel and Wehrmacht 12 June 2018.This has been repeated several times, and seems to have been aimed at provoking other editors.
If discretionary sanctions are requested, supply evidence that the user is aware of them (see WP:AC/DS#Awareness and alerts)
  • Participated in an arbitration request or enforcement procedure about the area of conflict in the last twelve months, on 24 June 2018
  • Quick response to Eadlgyth:
You completely misunderstood my point, I completely agree with the viewpoint that Poles in general weren’t victims of Holocaust.My point was thaf Icewhiz claimed that Nazis weren’t engaing in genocide against Polish people.While Poles weren’t part of Holocaust, they certainly were victims of genocide, this is accepted by mainstream historians and in line with verdicts made in Nuremberg Trials.We have to remember that while Holocaust was the most ruthless and total genocide carried out by Nazi Germany, it wasn’t the only one.Again, this is nothing radical,just normal mainstream theory.Historians who would claim only Jewish people were victims of genocide would be very fringe, if they exist.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 17:14, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
Notification of the user against whom enforcement is requested 


Discussion concerning Icewhiz[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 Icewhiz[edit]

In regards to the diffs above:

  1. I mis-cited the page number (280 instead of 283 - 280 being the start of the chapter and I was using the Google auto-citation). Naliboki village is in Naliboki forest. The source is clearly referring to the well known massacre in Naliboki village, as is clear from the citations (which refer to the village). After this was challenged on this basis (forest vs. village) - I dropped this edit/source.
  2. This - is the source. It discusses two viewpoints - the top of the page (and bottom of previous page) - presents the widely held view that Poles&SU-citizens were not victims of the Holocaust&genocide. The bottom of the page (which is in the screenshot) discusses the view that Poles were victims of the Holocaust&genocide. The highlighted portion in the screen shot is not in N&N's voice, but rather attributed to "those who would include Polish and Soviet...".
  3. The same source (The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust) - in presenting the majority view does not use genocide - it does however state "mass extermination" of natural leaders and reprisal killings. The minority viewpoint, presented below, does use genocide. The authors of the Columbia guide do not include Poles in the Holocaust(conclusion - here - [28]).
  4. Polocaust/Polokaust (a contraction of "Polish Holocaust") is advanced by the Polish state, see Gebert, Konstanty. "Projecting Poland and its past: Poland wants you to talk about the “Polocaust”." Index on Censorship 47.1 (2018): 35-37.Reuters: Polish minister says backs idea to create 'Polocaust' museum - it is not derogatory - it refers to treating Poles as victims of the Holocaust.
  5. This term has been used by RSes (see 6), and is not based on ethnicity but on a viewpoint favorable to a particular side.
  6. I said I saw this individual described as such in several source, and provided a single source to back this up - [29]. There are additional sources - Atlantic, Macleans. Discussing the POV of a source, particularly one described as biased in other sources, is essential for achieving NPOV - by balancing use of sources (as opposed to using sources from only one POV).
  7. I provided sources. Here's another- per Foreign Policy "Facts about the raid are heavily disputed, including whether the villagers were acting in concert with the Nazis".[30]. I will note that academic RSes that have covered this have treated this incident as "word-code" in right wing media - "Nevertheless, after the intense campaign to publicise these crimes during the Jedwabne controversy, Koniuchy and Naliboki started functioning as word-codes, symbols of Jewish savagery and refusal to repent for `their' atrocities."[31]. Per one academic RS the investigation into this was seen a "contemptible farce" in most of the world.[32] To adhere to NPOV, our article should reflect coverage of this incident in top-notch sources - and not as it is portrayed in a particular type of media.
  8. I provided a direct quotation of Gross (who in most of the world is considered one of the leading scholars (and certainly one of the most cited) in the topic area in the past 20-30 years) - that refers to Poles as a whole (of which the AK was the largest armed group) - I should have chosen a better source referring specifically to the AK - which I indeed did - in the next post and added an example.
  9. Again - this is "word code" incident (see 7), which is much disputed (A Soviet unit (per witness accounts possibly with some Jews in it - some former residents of the town) attacked the village (which housed a self-defense unit (which was also cover for AK) sanctioned by the Nazi authorities - a unit which resisted partisan requisition attempts), was fired upon (around 6 Soviets were killed), and after the firefight - executed mainly men and teenagers who were mainly members of the unit in the village (in all ~127-130 villagers died - mainly male teenagers and men, but also 3 women and a 10 year old child). I did not say "theft" - I said took over. As might be seen in USHMM Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, vol II pages 1185,1203-4,1229,1248 - there were Jewish residents in Naliboki prior to 1943 - if we are tying these former Jewish residents (based on some of the witness testimony), this is possibly relevant background.
  10. I provided a patently absurd example - which I explained (sourced) in here and here - in regards to a section with OR (the source was a list of names) that misrepresented Yad Vashem's award. I will quote Joshua D. Zimmerman - "Understanding of the Polish Underground’s wartime record was overwhelmingly negative. Holocaust survivor testimony and scholarly studies argued that partisans of the Home Army — those clandestine forces in Nazi-occupied Poland loyal to the Polish government-in-exile — were just as dangerous to Jews as were the Nazis. And the specific cases on which these claims were made were no doubt accurate"[33] (and will note that Zimmerman has a more nuanced view - he differentiates between the most positive pre-June 1943 command of Rowecki, and the subsequent negative Bór-Komorowski as well as differentiating by area/individuals). This is a widely used comparison (in regards danger to Jews) made by several scholars of Holocaust studies - and should not be seen as offensive (and in fact - if an editor rejects Holocaust studies scholarship based on "offensiveness" - that is a serious issue).

Icewhiz (talk) 07:05, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

I would like to point out the following misrepresentations, in article main-space, by MyMoloboaccount:
  1. Revision as of 22:41, 19 June 2018 - highly questionable source ("the most vocal attack ... by the conservative newspaper Rzecpospolita, which has, in turn, been accused of anti-Semitism"[34]) - edit misrepresents the source as "Other witness statements by Jewish members" while the source describes a single statement by a daughter (not a witness) describing what her mother told her.
  2. Revision as of 22:28, 19 June 2018- not in the source (which itself - is a magazine intended for youth).
  3. Revision as of 22:12, 19 June 2018 - source does not use "war crimes".
  4. Revision as of 22:04, 19 June 2018 - source described meeting between AK district command and Lenin (Komsomol) brigade from the Lipiczany forest (a different location, which incidentally also housed other Jewish units). According to the source the discussion was about Jewish partisans and partisan groups - not about the Bielski group - in the edit this statement about Jewish partisans in general was modified to Beiski - "Polish resistance officially complained to Soviets about alleged rapes and murders,including murder of young children, committed by Bielski's partisants and asked Soviet command to stop sending them for food requisitions".
  5. Revision as of 21:46, 19 June 2018 - source describes the poor combat value of the Zorin and Bielski family groups - in the edit this becomes "Jewish partisans" at large - everywhere in the Soviet sphere of influence.
Icewhiz (talk) 07:44, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
In regards to VM's comments below - some were already previous raised by him at AE (here). I will address any diff there in depth if required:
  1. In regards to Krajewski - I said nothing of the sort (and the omissions (...) are quite relevant) - I specifically excluded him, and provided a sourced stmt on other coverage, including an outlet present in the article (Rzecpospolita).
  2. In regards to Norman Davies - this is a matter of public record (six Jewish professors . . . stood up and castigated a single chapter .... The historians' religion is relevant, Davies says, because they claimed he distorted the history of Poland, was insensitive to the Jews .... Davies's suit will charge that the defendants "met secretly and conspired among themselves' and covered in a secondary manner- see archive(book form),NYT, I removed WP:BLPPRIMARY/WP:OR from his page (sourced to a 'court transcript, that didn't support the text either) and replaced it with secondary coverage.
  3. Ewa Kurek's coverage in English is mainly of the this sort and this.
  4. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz/Bogdan Musiał/Tomasz Strzembosz(deceased 2004) - all represent the same school of ethno-nationalist writing,[35] and argue that Judeo-communism is not an anti-semitic cliche but historical reality.[36] Musiał has been recently covered in English here, and his dewiki entry is quite telling. Chodakiewicz has been covered by - Newsweek, SPLC2009, SPLC2017, HopeNotHate.
That being said - some of them (particularly Davies) are usable as sources - but for discussion of WP:BIASED such information is relevant. I will note that what is truly troubling is the mass promotion of some of these figures (particularly Kurek, Musiał, and Chodakiewicz) into Wikipedia articles, while more mainstream views are less present. If any particular point below needs addressing, please point out and I will defend my self. I will note that, barring mistakes, any assertions I've made on a BLP are backed up with strong sources (either in the same diff, or in other diffs in the same discussion).Icewhiz (talk) 05:18, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
In regard to point #10 - I could have quoted a source directly making this comparison - there are several such sources in Holocaust studies. I chose to quote Zimmerman (whose views are different, and more miďdle of the road) as he provides context for prior research (which is recent - this is from 2015) - which is more informative than a single view (and he discusses histiography at greater length in his intro chapter). I clearly stated after the quote that Zimmerman has more nuanced views on the matter, and described those views, however the purpose was to show this is a widespread view in the field of study, and not to represent Zimmerman (whose work is outstanding, regardless).Icewhiz (talk) 17:33, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken[edit]

It's getting monotonous, I know, but I'm commenting to point out yet again the number of AE complaints that have been filed in the last few months over the Poland in WWII issue, indicating, yet again, that admins really need to step up their game and more aggressively police this subject area, which falls squarely under ARBEE. And, once again, I renew my suggestion that topic bans for the regular combatants on both sides of the dispute would be a good start. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:36, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

@Sandsten: I believe you are correct that there's nothing specifically to be done about the general problem here at AE, however, the admins who read AE and participate in its discussions can do something about it, as discretionary sanctions were created specifically to allow uninvolved individual admins greater discretion in levying sanctions such as topic bans to disruptive, tendentious or non-neutral editors in a disputatious subject area, which Poland in WWII has undoubtedly become. I urge the admins who read this, and the comments from other editors agreeing with my thoughts, to actively patrol those articles and start to hand out tickets to those causing the problems. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:38, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlish[edit]

Concur with BMK, and think some other editors' activities in the area need some examination. Virtually every time I run across a talk-page mention of Poland, it's about continued disputation over events leading up to, during, and shortly after WWII. It's as if the place did not exist outside this time frame. I get a lot of WP:FRS invites to RfCs, and Poland shows up strangely (too) frequently, always about the same stuff, and featuring too many of the same squabblers. I'm not an editor at these articles other than gnome stuff, and don't have an opinion on the pro/con this and that stuff (it really does look hard to research with certainty, and I don't have a background in it). So, I tried to moderate, for example, at Talk:Blue Army (Poland) from 2015–2017 (archives 4–6), and eventually just gave up. I've mostly stayed away for a year-ish, so any diffs I have are too old to be actionable. Just want to chime in that the perception of a .pl-related WP:ARBEE issue is not illusory.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:47, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Kingsindian[edit]

Most of the diffs above look like good-faith content disputes to me. I haven't edited in Poland-related matters, but I have some experience with Ukraine-related matters, where the same issue of "whether the Ukrainian famine was genocide" is debated (both by scholars and by Wikipedia). Calling something "genocide" is obviously a value judgement, and scholars often disagree. The case about Naliboki should be treated as a good-faith argument, imo. Thus, I feel that no sanctions are warranted here.

I would like to, however, like to say to Icewhiz that comparing the Home Army to the Nazi party is a needlessly provocative statement, and is not anywhere near the scholarly consensus. There were segments of the Home Army which killed Jews, and some which collaborated with the Nazis, but the overall stance was neither of collaboration nor exterminationist anti-Semitism. For instance, Joseph Rothschild notes: The Polish Home Army was by and large untainted with collaboration. (Return to Diversity p. 55). One can argue about exclusion of some text, or the overall tone and emphasis in the article, without this sort of gratuitous and unfair comparison.

I do not have any opinion about the broader matter. Kingsindian   07:53, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Malik Shabazz[edit]

I, too, support what Beyond My Ken has written. I used to edit articles related to Polish-Jewish history, but the recent invasion and disruption of those articles by ideological editors -- led by Icewhiz -- has driven me away from the subject area (except for undoing what I consider the most egregious excesses in POV-pushing}. It's time to start thinking about topic banning the whole lot of them. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 08:12, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Piotrus[edit]

I had no time to review the diffs here. My usual attitude is that bans or TBans are not a good solution, but it's not like anyone would listen to me. Recently two editors got TBanned from this, but this clearly had not helped. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as while one of those tbans seems reasonably sound (affecting an editor who has not to my knowledge contributed much content), the other targeted one of the more prolific content creators in this topic arena, author of numerous GAs and dozens of DYKs (see User_talk:Poeticbent#Unfair_topic_ban). So it's not only that (since last year or so) we have more disruptive and battleground minded editors running loose (people who were not active in this topic arena before, and it was much more stable and less prone to appearing at AE), since the last few weeks due to one of the worst AE calls in recent memory, one of the most constructive content creators is gone - so the ratio of flame/noise to good edits has IMHO significantly decreased. None of this, unfortunately, makes me think that an ArbCom will be any less random in their judgement as AE, I am just concurring that this topic arena is overdue for its 'what a random mole' game by AE's big brother. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:56, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Clearly, this report needs a review by an admin who has time to examine more than '3 diffs'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:20, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by François Robere[edit]

Ah, the gang's all here... The analogy of AK to Nazi Germany was tasteless, but it's pretty clear Icewhiz didn't fabricate, falsify or misrepresent any of the sources; neither was he unduly inflammatory in stating there's a nationalist component to this debate, which is both common sense and something numerous authors wrote about. It's unfortunate that Molobo would choose to file an AE where there's no policy violation, and do so without challenge or warning.

Regarding BMK's suggestion: As before, I support more active involvement by admins, and oppose mass bans. Mass bans are just indiscriminate punishment, and if that's what the "community" strives for, then it has lost its right to exist. A better course of action would be if some of the +500 or so active admins we have would just grow some balls (or ova, or whatever it is that gets Wiki admins going faster than a dead yeti). Want some good places to start? I opened this DRN following community guidelines, but some users refuse to participate. If any of them reverts an edit on the relevant page, smack them with a ban. Another? Two admins refused to enact sourcing restrictions on the entire topic area; why? Honest representation of sources is such a fundamental thing in academia, I can hardly think of a scholar who wouldn't get sanctioned if they didn't do so. Why not here? You'd rather dwell on these obtuse soaps-like ANI and AE sagas against individual editors, instead of enacting major (and needed) changes to how the community behaves.

If all admins are willing to discuss are editor vs. editor conflicts, then editors will naturally focus on other editors rather than on content. If admins were willing to mediate content disputes, then editors would've naturally focused on content and argumentation rather than on other editors. Piotr laments PoeticBent's ban; PoeticBent was corrupted by the system, and by refusing to engage on a deeper level than "he stole my pencil, he took my icecream" you're encouraging the rest of the community to follow in his path. François Robere (talk) 11:43, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ealdgyth: Your involvement is appreciated, not least because we need more unbiased editors on these articles. Your source review was useful, and will be followed up. François Robere (talk) 09:52, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Ealdgyth[edit]

I'm entirely too involved in the subject area to act as an admin, but it's getting beyond ridiculous in the topic area. After the last round at AE, I tried to bring the discussion around to the actual article content with Talk:Koniuchy massacre#Sourcing..., where I specifically stated I didn't want to discuss who added the problem bits - that we should just concentrate on the content. Others can judge how well that went by the replies. The article was full-protected right as I was spending a couple of hours going through all the sources, so in theory, everyone should have been forced to discuss on that article's talk page - instead it appears to have just moved to other pages with the same "discuss the other editors" behavior. This attempt at discussing sources was after a long discussion on my talk page at User talk:Ealdgyth#WP:AE which rapidly degenerated. I even tried to explain how the problems were being seen by outsiders here, but it doesn't seem to have registered or been heeded. There is entirely too much discussion of other editors going on, which fuels the acrimony and thus it becomes a never-ending cycle that just changes articles but never behavior. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:06, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

@Vanamonde93: - I have no ideas on how to fix the problems. Much of the problem seems to be a mindset behind much of the editing - rather than approaching the sources, reading lots of them and those thoroughly, and then trying to reflect the varying views of those sources in our articles, it appears that much of the editing is approached from a "I know this information is true so I'll add it and then I'll use google books and google scholar and plain google to find sources that back up the statement I want to add" angle. An example - MyMoloboaccount's point #2 above. It concerns this diff. IT's sourced to The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust p. 73. MM then points to a screen shot of the page from Polish Google Books, I assume (but it's in English). Well, I actually own The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust - my page 73 has nothing like what MM is showing in his screen shot. That screenshot is actually from page 49-50 in my edition and is part of a long chapter discussing various possible definitions of the Holocaust. By using just the google books link without actually reading the whole chapter and digesting it - it's easy to think that Niewyk and Nicosia support including Polish and Soviet civilian losses in the definition of the Holocaust - which is actually not the case. N&N in this chapter discuss four different possible definitions of the Holocaust - ranging from a definition of it only including Jewish victims, to a second possible definition that defines several parallel Holocausts, each with different victim groups, to a third defniition that includes Gypsies and the handicapped along with Jews in the Holocaust, to a final definition that would include all of the victims of the German racial policies. N&N give examples of scholars who use each definition and then go on to declare that they are using the third definition, but that many scholars and works use the first or the last definiton. We cannot use N&N to support the fact that Poles should be included as victims of the Holocaust because they themselves do not use that definition. Now, I have no idea who first put that citation in to the wrong page with the wrong defintion ... but I note that no one on either side who is arguing over it actually went to the source and noticed the page number problem much less appears to have actually read the entire chapter. I could probably go on at great length, but there is likely more than enough blame for bad citations to go around to all sides. My preferred solution would be for all sides to drop the battleground attitudes and quit talking about other editors and focus on fixing the many many problems in the articles. The first step is to have the citations actually reflect what they are sourcing - rather than have lots and lots of source errors. The hard part is actually doing the work - just digging into THIS one citation took me almost 20 minutes of digging and that's when I have the book actually right on the shelf next to me. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:28, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Seraphim System[edit]

Regarding this [37] - no, it's not "Fringey", quite the opposite. The whole thing is Lebensraum. There are multiple sources that discuss Lebensraum as a genocide, including Bloxham's Oxford Handbook [38] so calling it the "polocaust" or otherwise refusing to get the point and work with editors is part of the problem. The debate is over the term "Holocaust", presumably, but conduct on both sides is far from stellar and as long as it continues it will drown out any hope of reaching a consensus through reasonable discussion about how to best accommodate this - a solution that would probably include clearly linking to and improving other articles instead of burying and minimizing. This is where the underlying problems become more apparent. Seraphim System (talk) 13:25, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

There is a conflict here - persons who help in situations like these are usually a minority, but that minority receives a lot of attention. This may start with reading something like Number the Stars (which I'm sure a lot of us have read, I read it when I was about 7) and goes on through our entire lives. It is actively supported by Yad Vashem's international educational outreach programs and classroom materials. This includes lessons on "good Nazis" (some of us may remember a man named Oskar Schindler, who Yad Vashem discusses in some detail) - most of these lesson plans taught in primary and secondary schools around the world are geared at prevention, and understanding how something like this can happen when people are indifferent. Or it has been, until recently - now they are putting out some new stuff that is pulling back from universal applicability.
I think this conflict reflects the deep tension between these views and there are sources on both sides - sources that have been created by scholars who believe the moral lessons of the Holocaust are universally applicable, sources that have expanded from that foundation to produce comparative studies that seek to understand the causes of racial violence and genocide in the area of comparative genocide studies, contrasted with those who think antisemitism is a special case (which segues into the debate about new antisemitism). My concern is that there is a difference between understanding what happened in Poland, and seeking to place blame or to vindicate, and editors may be approaching this with the assumption that neutrality is not possible - which I think it is, as there are many excellent sources available.
As for solutions, I strongly believe this can only be resolved through source-based discussion - I think some behavioral guidelines may help at this point, but I don't think any views should be silenced, but some type of intervention like moderated discussion may be needed to make the talk page discussions more productive.
Seraphim System (talk) 09:42, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Nishidani[edit]

There are irrational components on both sides of this, of course. My impression is that Icewhiz is seen as spending a huge amount of time and effort (some of the materials he brings up are nonetheless cogent on specific points) singularly on Jews versus (other) Poles, and seems wholly insensitive to a general overview, i.e. that the Poles experienced a level of Nazi destruction unheralded in any other area occupied by Germany; that 6,000,000 died, of which, yes, 3,2 million were Jews; that Poland, compared to many other 'Slavic' countries, both resisted German claims, was invaded, fought back, was denied an administration, and Poles were subject to the death penalty if caught sleeping with Germans, that the Generalplan Ost for postwar implementation, foresaw the deportation, extermination or ethnic cleansing (Völkische Flurbereinigung) of Polish lands of 80-85% of Poles; that no SS Polish division was ever raised, unlike what happened in many other 'Slavic' countries. Polocaust/Polokaust like Pallywood is offensive contextually (one thinks of old German stereotypes of Poles as 'pissed as a fart' (polenvoll); or polnische Wirtschaft which has the same connotation as Avoda aravit(Arab labour) in modern Hebrew, etc.etc.etc. (See, to cite just one small study - the field is far more complex than what Icewhiz makes out - John Connelly, 'Nazis and Slavs: From Racial Theory to Racist Practice,' Central European History, Vol. 32, No. 1 (1999), pp. 1-33. Poles are justifiably extremely sensitive about these, as are Jews. It is understandable that in ethnic conflict articles, partisans of either ethnos see only their national perspective, but WP:NPOV apart, solid history is not written by conducting endless negotiations between maximalist positions. It's written with a cold eye to the overall picture, and a sympathetic eye for all victims of a tragedy. Nishidani (talk) 17:28, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

This sudden interest in the area reflects a recent clash between Israel and Poland over the representation of the Holocaust.( Moran Azulay, 'Yad Vashem slams joint Polish-Israeli statement on Polish role in Holocaust,' Ynet 5 July 2018.) Icewhiz seems to mirror the Yad Vashem position that there was no significant effort by the Polish Government in Exile or the Delegatura in Poland to save Jews. Yet the document Poland and Israel underwrote, which acknowledges Polish efforts to save Jews, was apparently approved by Yad Vashem's own chief historian, Dina Porat. So admins are not going to sort this out, since the Israeli authorities themselves apparently can't agree, and the political interests at stake seem to trounce clear neutral editing. Nishidani (talk) 14:27, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
I've only examined one diff (because Yaniv cited it today below, I think, and got it wrong). It's diff 10 by the plaintiff.
Icewhiz removes from Home Army the following:

Recognition:Members of the Home Army that were named Righteous Among the Nations include Jan Karski, Aleksander Kamiński, Stefan Korboński, Henryk Woliński, Jan Żabiński, Władysław Bartoszewski, Mieczysław Fogg, Henryk Iwański, Witold Bieńkowski and Jan Dobraczyński.

The source contains these names. The material is wholly uncontroversial and innocuous.
Content in excess of 500 words removed as an admin action. Sandstein 20:09, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Nishidani (talk) 19:49, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Vanamonde93[edit]

Posting here because since the last AE I've discovered some content interactions I had with IceWhiz, that were minor enough that I didn't remember them earlier. I flagged the first diff presented by MLoboaccount in the previous AE discussion. However, Icewhiz acknowledged the error in page numbering soon enough, and I see no reason to believe it was more than an honest mistake. The rest of this is mostly hot air: unless there's specific history I'm unaware of, I don't see that calling someone a "polophile" is a dreadful insult, though it's not ideal behavior. Similarly, I'm not seeing clear-cut evidence of source misrepresentation (and yes, I did read the screenshots that have been presented). Unless we're t-banning a bunch of editors (and that's a solution I've supported before, and may be okay with here), I don't see a need for sanctions in this case. Vanamonde (talk) 18:02, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek, if you want your report to be taken seriously, it needs to be concise enough to read. Moreover, while a couple of your diffs are concerning (ie this statement based on this source isn't entirely appropriate) editors are nonetheless required to thoroughly assess source quality on talk pages, and some of your diffs actually don't support what you say they do. I honestly don't see how this is portraying the subject as anti-semitic (maybe I just don't know enough) and while Icewhiz acknowledged error with respect to the "American Jews" statement in this diff, it is actually supported by the text in this source, which reads "may be used for another anti-Polish campaign organized by American Jewish communities" when put through google translate. So again, I don't see how there's enough evidence here for a sanction against just Icewhiz. I would be interested to hear Ealdgyth's views on how to go about fashioning a collective restriction. Vanamonde (talk) 04:59, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by Volunteer Marek[edit]

I was planning on filing the following evidence in my own WP:AE report, particularly because it focuses on BLP violations. But since this is already open I'll post it here.

Sanction or remedy to be enforced: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Editing_of_Biographies_of_Living_Persons

Notice of DS awareness: [39]

Since he got involved in editing the topic area Icewhiz has made numerous BLP violations, in particular against living historians that disagree with his POV. The sequence of events in this regard always unfolds in the same way:

  • Icewhiz gets into a dispute on some article abut Polish-Jewish relations. He is presented with a reliable source, by a historian, that does not fit his POV
  • He proceeds to try to marginalize, attack and misrepresent the historian in talk page discussions. In several cases he insinuates or ascribes negatives views to these BLP subjects, which is not supported by sources. This is part of Icewhiz's tactic of trying to winning content disputes
  • Icewhiz proceeds to begin editing the article on the historian he finds objectionable and tries to turn it into an WP:ATTACKPAGE.
  • With one exception, in none of these circumstances does Icewhiz actually inquire about reliability or suitability of the sources at WP:RSN (one exception was Ewa Kurek, which may be the one BLP where Icewhiz’s edits were somewhat justified)

Here is the list of BLP violations and historians Icewhiz has attacked:

  • Kazimierz Krajewski, historian

Icewhiz writes "One should also note that in 2008-9 there was a wave of (…) publications in Poland (…) and that at least some of these reactionary pieces (…) were accused of anti-Semitism." [40]

Icewhiz falsely insinuate that a living subject, historian Dr. Krajewski has been “accused of anti-Semitism”. He provides a source [41] which is about ANOTHER publication being accused of it, not Krajewski. In the relevant section, the entire discussion is about Krajewski [42], no other author or source is mentioned, so to a regular outside reader it will most certainly appear from Icewhiz’s statement as if it’s Krajewski who’s been “accused of anti-Semitism”.

When confronted about this BLP vio [43] Icewhiz neither explained nor struck his comments. Needless to say, Krajewski has NOT been accused of anti-semitism (afaik). Indeed, he’s cited approvingly and extensively by Holocaust scholars such as Joshua D. Zimmerman [44] Leonid Rein [45] Timothy Snyder and Elezan Barkan (et. al) among others

Note Icewhiz claims that "I specifically excluded him" - this is completely false.

Icewhiz falsely misrepresents a source by changing "post-Stalinists" (source) to "American Jews" (Icewhiz’s words) [46] in order to make the BLP subject appear anti-semitic. Neither the word “American” nor “Jews” appear in the source [47]

When asked about this edit, Icewhiz excused himself calling this smear of a living person a “mild form of OR” [48] (!!!!!!)

Icewhiz falsely misrepresents a source by claiming that MJ Chodakiewicz "wrote a column in which he described an on-going genocide against whites by blacks in South Africa”. [49]"This is false. In the very first paragraph Chodakiewicz writes “There is no genocide, but it is true that they have been subject to violence”. To be fair to Icewhiz, the headline attached to the article misrepresents the text as well, but then why is Icewhiz using WP:PRIMARY sources to attack BLPs in the first place? Another case of "mild form of OR" I guess.

Content in excess of 500 words removed as an admin action. Sandstein 20:10, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:38, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by My very best wishes[edit]

I think the last comment by Nishidani was insightful, but... The problem here is the collision of different POVs. Which POV, exactly? Icewhiz tells about it in his statement (#10, green, "partisans of the Home Army — those clandestine forces in Nazi-occupied Poland loyal to the Polish government-in-exile — were just as dangerous to Jews as were the Nazis."). Just as Nazi. Yes, I understand, this is a quotation from here, but one should read the entire source, and it was written to say something different ("New research, however, demonstrates..." etc.). Can such "Polish anti-Nazi=Nazi" POV be justified as a "majority view" of scholarly sources? No, it definitely can not, even considering the description of the controversy by Nishidani (diff above). The actual question under discussion is different: was the effort by the Polish Government in exile to save Jews significant enough? Yes, there are different opinions about it. Overall, the behavior by Icewhiz looks rather problematic to me. I said this before [50]. My very best wishes (talk) 15:19, 5 July 2018 (UTC)

Statement by (username)[edit]

Result concerning Icewhiz[edit]

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • As regards MyMoloboaccount's complaint, for lack of time, I examined only the first three diffs and did not see any actionable misrepresentation of sources, if one accepts in good faith that the page number 280 was a mistake in the first diff. How to interpret and use these sources is a content dispute outside the scope of AE. As to Icewhiz's countercomplaint, again looking only at the first three diffs, I can't read Polish and therefore can't examine the sources. Accordingly, I'd take no action here, but warn both parties that AE is not a forum for settling content disputes, and that the fora provided for in WP:DR must be used for this purpose. With respect to the broader problem of disputes in this topic area, I don't see much that AE can do about it except examining individual complaints. Sandstein 10:59, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Given that no other admin has commented, I'll go ahead and close this as no action. It's quite clear that admins here will not examine the details and nuances of the interpretation of sources in what is, to most, a foreign language and a wholly unfamiliar topic. AE is good at dealing with reasonably obvious misconduct, but not so good at dealing with issues that need an advanced degree in history or some other specialized field to resolve. Sandstein 20:14, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I have commented on the case below and won't comment here other than to say that they need to be considered together. GoldenRing (talk) 19:28, 5 July 2018 (UTC)