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Weighing scales

A request for arbitration is the last step of dispute resolution for conduct disputes on Wikipedia. The Arbitration Committee considers requests to open new cases and review previous decisions. The entire process is governed by the arbitration policy. For information about requesting arbitration, and how cases are accepted and dealt with, please see guide to arbitration.

To request enforcement of previous Arbitration decisions or discretionary sanctions, please do not open a new Arbitration case. Instead, please submit your request to /Requests/Enforcement.

This page transcludes from /Case, /Clarification and Amendment, /Motions, and /Enforcement.

Please make your request in the appropriate section:


Requests for arbitration

Requests for clarification and amendment

Amendment request: Palestine-Israel articles 3

Initiated by Zero0000 at 13:58, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles 3 arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. WP:ARBPIA3#500/30

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request

Information about amendment request
  • Remove ambiguity

Statement by Zero0000

The sentence "Deletion of new articles by editors who do not meet the criteria is permitted but not required." literally says that non-extended-confirmed editors may delete new articles. This was certainly not the intention. To remove this ambiguity I suggest the insertion of one word: "Deletion of new articles created by editors who do not meet the criteria is permitted but not required."

@Jo-Jo Eumerus: I also doubt there has been actual confusion. I see this only as a little bit of cleanup that should be carried out on the principle that rules should really say what everyone assumes them to say. Zerotalk 18:16, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by JJE

Well, has there been actual confusion because of this ambiguity? It doesn't sound likely. And if there was, should this be folded into the pending case on this topic area? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:21, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the amendment request or provide additional information.Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Palestine-Israel articles 4

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Palestine-Israel articles 3: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • While it does not seem like the current wording has been problematic yet and it is technically impossible for non-admins to delete articles, I am fine with the suggestion of adding 'created' to clarify to what by is referring. Mkdw talk 22:26, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I too have no problem with this change. I'm aware. though, that we're about to open ARBPIA4 to review all remedies - as this hasn't been misinterpreted in the past, I think it's something that would be best covered there. WormTT(talk) 09:12, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
    Zero0000 would you mind raising this at WP:ARBPIA4 so that it doesn't get lost? IF so, I think we can close this and deal with all together. WormTT(talk) 18:17, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The change makes sense to me -- agreed that it's confusing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 17:22, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Should be an uncontroversial clarification, I'm okay with it. – Joe (talk) 09:11, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Amendment request: German war effort

Initiated by K.e.coffman at 14:39, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
German war effort arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/German_war_effort#Remedies

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • New remedy (please see statement)

Statement by K.e.coffman

Per the Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/German war effort#General conclusion and remedy, "Further instances of uncollegial behavior in this topic-area will not be tolerated and, if this occurs, may result in this Committee's accepting a request for clarification and amendment to consider imposition of further remedies, including topic-bans or discretionary sanctions."

Instances of recent (August 2019) uncollegial behaviour by Peacemaker67:

  1. An unprovoked personal jab: it makes me question whether this is yet another example of something that K.e.coffman just doesn't like, typically because there are Nazis involved. [1]
  2. This is apparently in response to my comments [2] where I mentioned the word "trivia" once; another unprovoked jab: I just do not (...) accept K.e.coffman's perennial argument about what constitutes trivia in military history biographies. [3]
  3. Relitigating the arbcom case at a Featured article review: I've made observations on the editing behaviour of two editors based on long experience, which I can back up with many diffs, many of which I used in the ArbCom case, particularly with respect to K.e.coffman. [4]
  4. Accusations of a lack of competence and having an ideological motivation: They both [K.e.coffman & Assayer] have demonstrated over an extended period significant deficiencies in understanding what is a relevant piece of information for a military biography (...), and both constantly harp on about useful and interesting information that has been included in good faith in the interests of our readers. With these two editors, this only occurs in the cases of Nazis... [5]
  5. Doubling down on aspersions after they have been pointed out to Peacemaker67 by others: It is not a personal attack to point out a pattern of editing behaviour and a demonstrated lack of experience or knowledge in these matters. [6]

The diffs 2 through 5 are from Wikipedia:Featured article review/Albert Kesselring/archive1 where I have not mentioned Peacemaker67 nor engaged with his arguments in any way. Yet he found it appropriate to attack me and another contributor.

Compare with pre-Arbcom diffs, with the same tone and similar language:

Since the arbcom case concluded, I've observed other instances of Peacemaker67's incivility and combattiveness, as well as claiming special status as a project coordinator; these comments were directed at me and another contributor: "too smart by half"; "ambit claim"; "if you want to be a coord, run at the next election"; "Because we have been elected by the members of the project to administer parts of the project (...). You haven't"; etc.

I discussed these and other diffs on Peacemaker67's Talk page in December 2018: User talk:Peacemaker67/Archive 20#Request. The responce was: The lack of self-awareness in this post is breathtaking.

I thus don't believe that further discussion with Peacemaker67 would be productive and I'm bringing this dispute here, based on a continued pattern of behaviour pre- and post-Arbcom case. I'm requesting an amendment to the case with either an admonishment, a warning, or a one-way interaction ban, depending on how the committee views these diffs. --K.e.coffman (talk) 14:39, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Peacemaker67

G'day everyone. This is an transparent attempt to re-litigate the German war effort case, in an attempt to achieve something KEC and his/her supporters were unable to achieve with the original case, that is some sort of sanction against me. It also digs up material that pre-dates the ArbCom case, and which was considered during the case, and for which I was not sanctioned, in an attempt to "fatten the brief". I can only assume this has been brought because KEC wishes to clear the field of editors that disagree with his/her POV and problematic editing approach. KEC comes to this request, as he/she did to the original case, with unclean hands, something that was pointed out by DeltaQuad in the findings of the case, due to his edit-warring, citation removal sprees and content removal sprees, the latter two of which continue unabated [10][11][12][13][14]. My views on KEC's editing approach were made clear in my evidence at the case, and I link it here for ease of reference. KEC's demonstrated editing behaviour has not changed since that time and I stick by my assessments of it, and do not apologise for restating it when it continues to be displayed. Long-term patterns of behaviour are telling in this regard, and one cannot indefinitely assume good faith when an editor fails to change their behaviour despite clear indications that there are problems with it. As I mentioned in my evidence during the case, I continue to avoid KEC wherever possible, because his/her "censorious editing behaviour, wikilawyering and repeated refusal to “drop the stick” [are] frankly quite odd, unpleasant and exhausting". The attempt to insinuate that I am in any way pro-Nazi because I believe all military biographies (including those on Nazis) should be balanced, neutral and contain appropriate levels of detail is given the lie by several FAs I have written on senior Nazis such as August Meyszner. I provided links to the rest in my evidence at the case, so I won't repeat them all here but the whole idea is risible.

This particular issue is a content issue regarding the Albert Kesselring article, which is currently undergoing a FAR brought by KEC, and I have contributed to the FAR having been alerted to it by dint of being a member of WikiProject Military history. I otherwise normally avoid KEC, for the reasons stated above, unless he/she edits a page on my watchlist. KEC and several other editors believe that the Kesselring article should be delisted as a FA, and several others, including myself, disagree. In fact, nearly all of those that think it should be delisted are represented here already, which should tell Arbs something. I have made clear, both in the case and on the FAR page that I consider KEC's views on what should be in a Featured military biography betray a lack of understanding of what should be included in a military biography. This is an issue of competence which KEC should have developed by now but apparently refuses to acquire. This has been clearly shown hundreds of times. The problem here is not only that KEC has never written a FA on a military person or even reviewed any that I am aware of (except this FAR), but that he/she works almost entirely on Nazis biographies (often through deleting material from their articles, or nominating and prosecuting their delisting, see Pudeo's statement), and has consistently failed to demonstrate that he/she has acquired knowledge during his time on WP of what the general consensus (developed over the creation and review of hundreds of FA military biographies by the Wikipedia community) is regarding what sort of detail should be included in such biographies. He/she has made thousands of edits deleting what he/she sees as "trivial" information from military biographies, almost all on Nazis. KEC's definition of "trivia" is extremely broad, and includes details of early life and World War I service, meaning that all that often remains is material on their World War II service and any war crimes. Essentially, due to KEC's narrow focus on Nazis and war crimes and lack of knowledge or acceptance about what a comprehensive military biography should look like, he/she only possesses an anti-Nazi hammer, and sees everything as a nail. If he/she had actually developed military biography articles to FA him/herself (perhaps even outside the narrow area of Nazis as well), he/she would have had to develop the necessary competence and modify his/her views in order to get consensus from other editors for the articles to be promoted, but because he/she has not done that he/she remains unmoved. As I said during the case, this behaviour does not contribute to the encyclopaedia, it harms it. KEC has done good work elsewhere, but this problematic behaviour continues. These are not "aspersions", they are observable facts, and I provided many diffs demonstrating their existence during the case, and have added a few more above.

Drmies was completely out of line in suggesting in the Kesselring FAR that Hawkeye7 could be blocked for disagreeing with the comments by KEC. Just because KEC makes a comment does not mean it is accurate, and the suggestion that Hawkeye7 could be blocked for disagreeing with KEC smacks of an attempt to intimidate. I suggested Drmies step back and take a deep breath because it was completely inappropriate behaviour to be threatening an editor because they did not agree with a criticism. If Drmies found that patronising that says more about them than me, and also doesn't make it so, nor does telling someone to step back and take a deep breath when they have threatened another editor constitute a personal attack.

No sanction is warranted here, because I have provided evidence for all of the comments I have made about KEC's editing behaviour and competence (and which have not been directed at his/her character), either here or in the original case. My observations about KEC's editing behaviour and competence are based on many diffs (above and in the case) and long experience. They are not "aspersions", because an aspersion is an attack on the integrity of a person. I have not commented on KEC's integrity or character, I have made observations on KEC's demonstrated editing behaviour and competence to draw conclusions about a content matter on which he/she is advancing his/her opinion. Neither are any of these comments a personal attack. Thanks, Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:09, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

I'll add that, when it comes to "clean hands", it is hardly "collegial" behaviour for KEC to maintain a user page that mocks the efforts of good faith editors and "grave-dances" over his/her "victories". Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 23:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Also, to Szzuk and others advancing conspiracy theories regarding MILHIST, clearly MILHIST is a branch office of the Cabal, and we must be stopped. The lack of MILHIST people piling on here despite many of them stalking my user talk page (unlike KEC's boosters who found their way here without any difficulty) put the lie to this nonsense. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 10:05, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Drmies

This is not unexpected. I was very dismayed by Hawkeye's comments at the FA review for Wikipedia:Featured article review/Albert Kesselring/archive1, but given their history of ownership and antagonism "none of this is true" was maybe to be expected (and yes, I consider calling another editor "liar" to be blockworthy, esp. when the subsequent attention to the review proves that the editor concedes that at least some "of this" was true). What I did not expect was Peacemaker's personal attacks and belligerence--just search for "Drmies you need to take a deep breath and step back", twice. Note that another editor agreed this was ad hominem (I don't think I know Figureofnine very well, and this comment suggests they have a properly uninvolved view). Playing the man, not the ball, is definitely "uncollegial behavior".

And while we're at it, perhaps the committee is interested in this little note by Pudeo, which is just as bad. Pudeo wasn't part of the first case, I know. Drmies (talk) 15:58, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Pudeo

The approaches here are just fundamentally different. Most content is far from perfect in Wikipedia, even FAs. And indeed the newest FAR resulted in improvements. Yet K.e.coffman's drastical appraoch treats German military biographies in a vastly different manner than any other military biopgrahies, as discussed in the ArbCom case. Multiply this ad nauseam in various GA and FA reviews: Wikipedia:Featured article review/Albert Speer/archive1, Talk:Joachim Müncheberg/GA2, Talk:Erich Hartmann/GA1, Wikipedia:Featured article review/Albert Kesselring/archive1, and you might see some signs of frustration, as there usually is to WP:CPUSH. BTW, Assayer popped up in each of these reviews started by K.e.coffman despite his infrequent editing pace, hence my WP:TAGTEAM point.

None of the comments by Hawkeye7 or Peacemaker67 were actual personal attacks. While K.e.coffman's commentary is civil on the surface, it's hardly of the honest type. As DeltaQuad referenced in her proposed decision vote in #Conduct of K.e.coffman, K.e.coffman updates their userpage with post-dispute gloating and collects diffs of things their opponents have said in K.e.coffman/My allegedly problematic behaviour (which I nominated for MfD, no consensus §). As an example, they mock MisterBee1966 on the polemic userpage[15][16]; whereas MisterBee1966 had nominated K.e.coffman for Military History Newcomer of the Year in 2015. Talk about uncollegial behaviour. --Pudeo (talk) 18:40, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Vanamonde (German war effort)

This request rather depresses me, because, to the best of my knowledge, I've gotten along quite well with most of the protagonists. So, I will confine myself to saying that if ARBCOM ends up examining this latest conflict, it should examine the behavior of all of those involved, and not just of the two named parties, whose conduct is not the most blame-worthy in this mess. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:22, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Figureofnine

I was just pinged by Drmies above and hence alerted to this request. The examples cited by KE coffman are disturbing. There needs to be zero tolerance of that kind of thing. Regretably a civility noticeboard dealing with just these kinds of issues was shut down a few years ago, which shows you how unseriously civility is viewed on Wikipedia. If editors can't abide by a simple civility directive they are a net negative to the project. Figureofnine (talkcontribs) 19:34, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Assayer

After a pause of about four months I provided an extensive review of the article on Albert Kesselring [17]. PM67 saw it fit to comment on a brief addendum, claiming that this was typical of my criticisms and would demonstrate my significant deficiencies in understanding what is a relevant piece of information for a military biography. If someone openly picks up some minor point,[18] misrepresents the underlying argument and infers that this was proof of general incompetence, I call that a straw man argument. I do not understand, why PM67 somewhat routinely casts aspersions like that, because in general I have found them amenable to new historical research on war crimes. But they should be called upon to stop that and to focus on content.

As to Pudeo’s insinuation: Not only did I comment on Albert Speer and Albert Kesselring well before any FA review was initiated. I also rewrote a portion of the Speer article back in 2017 to keep it at FA level.[19] Besides, the verifiability of the content I provide may speak for itself. I got the impression that it is not my “editing behavior” (PM67) which annoys some authors, but my approach, which has been perceived as being “hard line anti-Nazi de WP” - as if an anti-Nazi approach was by any means a problem. The military history of Nazi Germany is indeed different from other military histories, because the German military became complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity to an extent hitherto unknown. To claim that this is a military history like any other promotes the myth of the “clean Wehrmacht” and is not in line with the findings of military historiography.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Assayer (talkcontribs) 02:18, 31. August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Icewhiz

Biographies of Nazis (as other areas in which there are significant myth promotion and POV promotion - from some circles outside of Wikipedia) merit extra attention. At the very least we want avoid such non-mainstream lionizing content from creeping into Wikipedia.Icewhiz (talk) 06:45, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by SN54129

Re. This is an transparent attempt to re-litigate the German war effort case. There is a certain irony in the Lead coordinator for WP:MILHIST accusing others of relitigating it...when neither he personally nor his colleagues (by extension, MILHIST as a body) ever accepted the committee's ruling over GWE. From the September 2018 MILHIST coordinator elections—that opened less than a month after the case closed—of the candidates

  • User:Arius1998 (said I have reservations with the specifics as exhibited in the findings of fact and the remedies)
  • User:Auntieruth (said I did not agree with the findings of fact)
  • User:Cinderella157 (said the decision generally lacks credibility, although to be fair had just been topic-banned)
  • User:Hawkeye7 (said I cannot agree with the findings of fact)
  • User:Kges1901 (said I disagreed with several of the FoFs and some of the remedies)
  • User:Peacemaker97 (said they had have reservations about a couple of the FoF)
  • User:Zawed (said Some of the findings and remedies didn't seem to match the evidence presented)

Of those seven, six were elected. The philosophy has not changed, and this is at the heart of the current request: the same mindhive-approach and intransigence to change that caused the original case was literally, unambiguously, restated less than a month after WP's governing body adjudicated. Now, everyone's entitled to disagree with arbcom, of course;* but when one's disagreement is in effect a refusal to take on board valid community criticisms, leading to the reoccurrence of the same behaviors, then it's beyond being a mere disagreement and is actively disruptive. ——SerialNumber54129 11:59, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

* I've been known to do so myself on occasion :)

PS, is there a word limit here? ——SerialNumber54129 11:59, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Szzuk

My opinion is this;

  • a) MILHIST are an unofficial canvassing board
  • b) A command structure is in place; there is a commanding officer and subordinate officers
  • c) There is a system of rewards; barnstars, badges, A Class reviews, GA and FA support
  • d) There is a system to co-ordinate the "protection" of FA and GA
  • d) There is a system of punishments; exclusion, narky remarks, obstruction, personal attacks and in the original ARBCOM case wikihounding

The Kesselring article is full of Nazi apologia and MILHIST are protecting it. It doesn't look like much has changed since the original ARBCOM. The KEC talk page is the unofficial anti-MILHIST page and that situation won't change until this matter is sorted out.Szzuk (talk) 12:20, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dlthewave

One of the principles of the case, "Criticism and casting aspersions", reads An editor must not accuse another of inappropriate conduct without evidence, especially when the accusations are repeated or severe. Comments should not be personalized, but should instead be directed at content and specific actions. Disparaging an editor or casting aspersions can be considered a personal attack. If accusations are made, they should be raised, with evidence, on the user talk page of the editor they concern or in the appropriate dispute resolution forums. (emphasis mine). The diffs presented by K.E. Coffman demonstrate that Peacemaker has continued to ignore the principle even after the close of the case.

Our civility standards apply regardless of any content dispute or conduct issue on the part of another editor. If Peacemaker and others notice a pattern of problematic behavior, this needs to be raised at the appropriate venue, not on these various article and project talk pages. –dlthewave 16:00, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Dank

I'd prefer not to say anything. Please don't take on an explosive issue like this one at a time when there's too much to do and not enough people to do it. - Dank (push to talk) 11:25, 14 September 2019 (UTC) [Tweaked to remove "Framgate" 18:07, 14 September 2019 (UTC)]

@Worm: Sigh. - Dank (push to talk) 10:40, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@Mkdw: Thanks for that. - Dank (push to talk) 18:35, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Laser brain

I don't recall having ever had any interactions with K.e.coffman nor was I familiar with this case until now. I followed the Featured Article Review discussion for Albert Kesselring here and read up on all the background. That said, I find this filing to be borderline frivolous and the examples posted of PM's or Hawkeye's alleged transgressions to be utterly unconvincing. Having deep experience in the Featured article process, which includes our most rigorous review of content, these interactions strike me as normal discourse when there are content disagreements. I don't see any personal attacks or aspersions, nor do I view it as problematic to point out obvious patterns in editing behavior. --Laser brain (talk) 13:50, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Alex Shih

Although I understand arbitrators are preoccupied with some of the current affairs, I would like to think that common courtesy would be to at least acknowledge this amendment request in the very minimum instead of the radio silence for nearly one month now. The German war effort case was unfortunately one of these cases where cores issues were never resolved due to limitations of what the committee can do. There were never any gross breach of civility, but the committee can certainly opine on the difference between uncollegial behaviour and regular heated discussion in a contentious topic area. In my opinion, Peacemaker67 can certainly be less hostile toward K.e.coffman; it doesn't matter if every accusation is substantiated, there is no need to summarise your findings in a personalised way. And it's not helpful, as a general approach, to dismiss concerns simply because they are not consistent with the consensus of the MILHIST project.

However, this needs to happen concurrently with K.e.coffman also reflecting on their own approach, including posting the very request at Peacemaker67's talk page rather than soliciting community input from noticeboards, which is what the remedies have suggested prior to seeking amendments. Personally I don't think anything can be done here again; there weren't any lines crossed from neither sides, and since there weren't any interest from the committee to examine K.e.coffman's approach toward the topic area, as I have originally proposed ([20]), I cannot really see a way moving forward at the moment. Like Pudeo mentioned above, it is simply a clash of two fundamentally different approaches, and de-moralising for both sides. Alex Shih (talk) 13:33, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

@Worm That Turned: While I thank you for being the only member that responded after being pushed to do so, it has been a week and yet here we are with the continued silence. You may also want to remind your colleagues that ignoring ARCA entirely while editing elsewhere on Wikipedia is explicitly inconsistent with WP:ARBPOL and not acceptable in any terms. If the strategy is to wait until everybody lose interest, that is not okay; problems will not go away simply by ignoring them. But for now, either have the decency to acknowledge the points raised in this request or just archive it straight away if none of the committee members are willing or could do so. Thanks, Alex Shih (talk) 06:23, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Piotrus

Do we have any active mediators who could help here? I know, rhetorical question, probably not. In which case, forgive me for touting my own horn, but as I suggested in a peer reviewed article on significance of conflict in our community (for free access, go to Sci-Hub), WMF should hire several full time psychologists to act as mediators and such. I know some, if mostly in passing, some of the parties here. They (you...) are all good people who want to help build an encyclopedia. But eroding good faith leads to vicious spiral into battlegrounds that ends up either with voluntary or forced retirement of some of the parties. This is not good, and mostly inactive ArbCom hardly helps. Seriously, it is time to push WMF to spent at least some of the funds on getting us the full time help we need. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:03, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should address why or why not the Committee should accept the amendment request or provide additional information.

German war effort: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

German war effort: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • Just to note that I am aware of this request and thank the partipants for their patience. I hoped to comment last week, however I have been trying to catch up on many things that have been left behind over recent months. I will be commenting next week. There is no auto archiving facility on this page, it will not be archived without a request from Arbcom. WormTT(talk) 06:51, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
    Yes Alex, I'm aware that it's been nearly a week since I said "next week", however I've been tied up with other stuff. I've put a reminder on the list that there's been little comment at ARCA recently, and we could do with some eyes. I'm hoping to comment myself today. WormTT(talk) 08:02, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
    Ok, some thoughts. Peacemaker67's comments, raised by K.e.coffman, are not likely to encourage collaboration between the two - however, I do see the comments as the sort of thing you get in at typical robust discussion at an FA review. I personally don't see them rising to the point of admonishment / interaction ban or other sanction at present, however if Peacemaker does carry on at that level persistently or indeed escalates his level of commentary, then I would likely change that opinion. I do also find Serial Number 54129's point about the MILHIST co-ordinators interesting, and would counsel the MILHIST group to bear in mind that it does risk becoming a walled garden when like minded people are managing everything - however, beyond that, there's nothing more to say. WormTT(talk) 09:05, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
    In addition, aside from the grumbling about Arbcom members not being around, I encourage participants to read Alex Shih's comments, which are quite insightful. WormTT(talk) 09:07, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
  • The topic area is obviously a crowded place where the same people are invariably going to keep running into each other. Disagreements are bound to arise. In looking only at the August 2019 diffs provided in this ARCA, I am not seeing anything that would rise to the need for ArbCom to be involved yet. I would encourage the community to make best efforts to resolve issues respectfully while allowing a healthy amount of disagreement and criticism. I will say that all editors should absolutely refrain from commenting about the competency of editors who have clearly shown themselves to be proficient and capable contributors. Mkdw talk 18:19, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I apologize for not commenting here earlier; the unfoggy brain cells have been needed elsewhere. I read the comments above and the Kesselring FAR, and I agree with Mkdw and WTT that there's not anything for us to do here quite yet. KEC, your user page is problematic. Peacemaker, whether you like it or not, SN54129 has a point. Any small group with any kind of privilege – and that includes this committee – runs the risk of groupthink. Be careful that MILHIST doesn't become a place where that groupthink crowds out those who genuinely disagree. Katietalk 18:02, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Clarification request: Threaded discussion and section headers on Arbitration talk pages

Initiated by Beeblebrox at 23:34, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

Case or decision affected

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

Statement by Beeblebrox

In several recent cases, clerks have taken what seems to me to be a very heavy-handed approach to policing proposed decision talk pages, enforcing absolute conformity of section headers and only allowing themselves or arbs to participate in threaded discussion, absolutely banning it for us "lesser" users. When I questioned this, SilkTork directed me to Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Clerks/Procedures#Statement and evidence management as the policy that supports this practice. The problem there is that it doesn't. There is no mention of any rules for talk pages. This appears to be a policy that doesn't actually exist, yet the clerks are strongly enforcing it at the apparent direction of the committee.

While I completely understand the need for controls in initial statements and evidence pages, talk pages, anywhere in project space, are used by the community to discuss the project. In this case the committee seems to be enforcing standards that were just made up out of thin air and are not documented on-wiki. Given that in this most recent case the enforcement of unknown rules based on invisible criteria was a central problem, I strongly feel this issue needs to be brought out in the open and whatever process that was used to develop it needs to be made transparent.

Failing that, the committee needs to accept that there is no such rule and instruct the clerks to stop enforcing it. Arbitration processes are complicated enough without expecting users to abide by invisible rules that apply only when the committee suddenly decides they apply on a particular page.

(The above is my initial statement, below are replies to arbitrator comments)Beeblebrox (talk) 21:09, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

"it's something that the clerk team and ArbCom has agreed upon.". And that's how new policies are made now? You guys hold a private discussion then begin enforcing a rule by adding a notice to a talk page if and when you decide it applies to that page? A rule that, again, is not in any policy I've seen. I suppose if you do things that way it is easier, you can just make up whatever rule you want and tell the community "we and the clerks agree this is a good idea, so it's now policy whenever we decide it is" but I'm pretty sure even ArbCom isn't supposed to work that way. "the fact that it isn't spelled out there yet doesn't mean it's outside policy" uh ok, is there anything else yu aren't telling us, any other secret policies in your back pocket for when you believe its convenient to spring them on the community and declare that's how it works from now on? Beeblebrox (talk) 17:44, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

C'mon Joe. You're just making up ridiculous excuses now. "The format of a talk page is not policy" is nonsense. If there's not a policy, why is it being enforced? Why are the clerks instructed to do it that way? Arbcom is responsible for establishing its own procedures, I'm not contesting that, but they should be way more transparent than this when doing so. You can't have it both ways, either you are enforcing a new policy that you all have neglected to put in your own procedures, or there is no such rule. Invisible rules that come and go at the whim of the abs is no way to run a committee. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:51, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm curious if any of the arbs have any comment on the fact that the committee also exempts itself and its clerks from this policy, making them free to engage in threaded discussion if they wish while the rest of us are absolutely verboten from doing so. If there was one way to tell the community you think you are better than them, making up a policy and then exempting yourself from it would be a good start. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:27, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

@Mkdw: Thanks for your reply. What seems weird to me is that as far as I am aware PD talk pages are the only place in all of Wikipedia where this goes on. Other arb space pages, like this one, have highly formalized structures that disallow any threaded discussion. I think that makes sense on, for example, the initial requests and statement sat the beginning of a case. If those were threaded discussions it would be near impossible for the committee to get anything done. And it works fairly ok here as well. But for some obscure reason on PD talk pages and only on PD talk pages replies are made by the "special class" of arbs and clerks wherever they please. I honestly don't know if anyone else sees it that way but that's how it felt to me. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:52, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Gerda

It has been said that the practise makes it easier to read. That must be for different readers. For me, it's much easier to understand a chronological flow of arguments, than having to go not only to the section where xyz said something, but on top when that happened. It would have been easy for my section because I didn't change my mind ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:01, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Alex Shih

Joe Roe: it isn't spelled out there yet doesn't mean it's outside policy – Isn't this exactly the definition of unknown rules based on invisible criteria? Committee may ask the clerk team to implementing procedures as they wish, but these needs to be spelled out in policy pages (as the basis for when and why the comments must be sectioned), and the committee needs to provide their rationale clearly (as you have done here, thank you), otherwise to those unfamiliar with arbitration proceedings on Wikipedia, it would simply appear as arbitrary enforcement. Community participations are crucial to these proceedings, and if the committee and the clerk team are starting to micromanage every arbitration page in a heavy handed manner (such as absolute conformity of section headers, like seriously?) without adequate communication, it discourages members of the community from participating further, and reduces the effectiveness of the committee from reaching informed decisions.

And these "rules" that are "documented prominently" are randomly put in pages where the committee decides to put with no explanations given initially, and they are not spelled out explicitly in any policy pages at the moment, which I believe is what Beeblebrox is saying; so you may want to withdraw your "disingenuous" accusation, as that is not the example of good faith as required by WP:ARBCOND, and comes off as rather ironic as we have only recently concluded another case centered around civility. Alex Shih (talk) 08:52, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich

It's a rule designed to stop people from talking to each other, or at least significantly interfere with their ability to do so. I don't know why you'd want to do that on a collaborative project. Levivich 15:54, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

As I am demonstrating here, it is now difficult for any reader who is reading this page to know whether the "I agree with Levivich" responses of other editors apply to my entire section, or just the first point above. You have to compare the damn timestamps to figure that out. This inhibits communication and understanding, not just for editors, but also for arbs.

Another problem is that we cannot create section headers for topics, to discuss different issues separately. So anyone wanting to now reply to just this second comment of mine, has to say something foolish like, "Regarding Levivich's second point", and in a few more comments, we'll have, "In response to Joe's third reply to WBG's second response to Levivich's fourth bullet point...".

If we want to get all bureaucratic about this, we can start an RfC to amend ARBPOL with "thou shalt not section talk pages", but gee it'd be better to just have a conversation with the arbs and clerks about it to find the best way forward.

Towards that end, I would ask the arbitrators: since the talk page sectioning policy procedure was implemented, how has it affected the quality and speed of decisions, compared with before the change? Levivich 20:26, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Alanscottwalker

No, Levivich, there is nothing preventing me from talking to you, nor interfering with my ability to do so, from down here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:06, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Levivich, I just made a section, in contravention to the argument that one can't make a section. And if you really care, I am replying to your second comment but that hardly even matters, what matters is whatever substance there is to a comment or not. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:55, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Brad: Sure, the committee can decide they like long interminable back and forth, but it's difficult to see an advantage, including in surfacing what's important. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:55, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by WBGodric

Echo Levivich. Further, Joe Roe shall not be casting random aspersions laden with a bout of bad faith. WBGconverse 16:48, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by KillerChihuahua

I agree with BeebleBrox, Gerda, and Levivich. The intent certainly seems to be to squash discussion. The effect is to make it almost impossible to determine what anyone is talking about. I certainly don't find the segmented approach an improvement, indeed quite the contrary. If EditorA says "Bluebells are bad:reason" I ought to be able to counter below, rather than start my own section with "Regarding EditorA's contention that bluebells are bad, above, ...." which requires anyone trying to read the page to scroll and search for text snippets endlessly. It takes easily twice as long per reply, and the effort increases exponentially with each reply. It's absurd. Regarding Joe's assertion that ArbCom and the Clerks have decided this - really? Because while I support their right to organize cases as they see fit, I do not recognize their right to abritrarily decide that talk pages in their demense should suddenly not work as all other talk pages throughout the project. Unless someone is violating Talk page guidelines, what is the issue? I fail to see any rationale here which makes any kind of sense. And as per others' statements, above - this isn't in policy, or guidelines, or anywhere the community can see. One puppy's opinion. KillerChihuahua 20:16, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I'd like to add, regarding Levivich's third point fourth point, "In response to Joe's third reply to WBG's second response to Levivich's fourth bullet point...". Yeah. That. Exactly what I was talking about regarding the exponential effort required to make sense of any reply based on how early in the discussion the original comment, and the reply in question, appeared. KillerChihuahua 20:32, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Newyorkbrad

I believe the "sectioned discussion" rule originated awhile ago in the context of a few cases in which the parties were having difficulty in interacting civilly. The rule was created and enforced in a good-faith attempt to keep the arbitration pages useful, not to impair discussion on these pages. Nonetheless, in my opinion and experience it has sometimes had the opposite effect. In particular, in cases with substantial community interest, a page can grow to a large size. It then becomes difficult to make a new comment in a section near the top of the page noticeable, and important points can be missed, including potentially by the arbitrators. For this reason, without endorsing any of the comments (here or elsewhere) imputing intent to anyone, I would urge a reevaluation of this procedure, or at least perhaps using it only in specific instances where it proves necessary. (It may, however, also make sense to table this issue until January and let next year's Committee address it, especially since the impending Israel-Palestine review case may be one in which sectioning the discussion does make sense.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:49, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Thryduulf

The intended point of PD talk pages is only for individual editors (principally parties) to bring matters relating to the PD to the attention of the Committee. It isn't intended to be a space for community discussion about the case, or the background to it, or anything else. IIRC sectioned talk pages were first introduced (or at least an early use was) for a case during my tenure on the Committee (2015), where parties to the case (possibly Gamergate or Lightbreather, but I haven't checked) were seemingly incapable of sticking to the point and not carrying on the dispute that was being arbitrated. Making it hard to have conversations was part of the point and generally it worked at reducing the disruption.

If committee members were to float ideas and put early drafts of the PD in the workshop stage then most of the commentary currently on PD talk pages could go there, where the structure better allows for it. Sectioned comment on the PD talk page would therefore not be anywhere nearly as often desirable.

All that said a space for general constructive community comment on the case, that is strongly policed for on-topicness, civility, personal attacks (and attacks against the committee), and other disruption, is probably a good thing to have. The PD talk page is the wrong venue for it though - it should be a space that the committee are encouraged to read but not required to read - anything essential to the proposed decision should be concisely addressed to the committee on the PD talk page. Thryduulf (talk) 22:08, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

statement by WereSpielChequers

I have no strong opinions as to whether in your part of the wiki you have a different way of organising talkpages or not. But If you are going to have a non standard setup please use edit notices to inform people rather than hiding comments at the top of the page. Once a page runs to the sort of size your pages do, it is a reasonable expectation that a lot of people reading and commenting in one section won't remember some formatting comment at the top of the screen, they likely haven't even seen it. But they will see an edit notice, even if they are editing the fiftieth section on your page. ϢereSpielChequers 20:45, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Comment by Leaky Caldron

It helps to minimise edit conflicts and outdents. Do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Leaky caldron (talk) 21:23, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}

Other editors are free to make relevant comments on this request as necessary. Comments here should opine whether and how the Committee should clarify or amend the decision or provide additional information.

Threaded discussion and section headers on Arbitration talk pages: Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).

Threaded discussion and section headers on Arbitration talk pages: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • This isn't a unilateral action by the clerks, it's something that the clerk team and ArbCom has agreed upon. The reason we like sectioned discussion is that arbitration talk pages are supposed to be there for editors to offer input that helps arbs reach a discussion. They're not for general running commentary on the case. It doesn't stop people replying to each other (we have pings now), but it discourages long back-and-forths that have a tendency to stray off-topic and in any case are a chore to read for those of us that actually have to read them.
This is no different how, elsewhere on wiki, someone requesting an RfC can set the structure for that discussion, or how all sorts of other processes have their own special formats. The policy basis for clerks enforcing that structure is WP:ARBPOL, The clerks' functions include the administration of arbitration cases and management of all the Committee's pages and subpages; enforcing Committee decisions; implementing procedures; and enforcing good standards of conduct and decorum on the Committee's pages. We could easily add something about sectioned discussion to the clerk procedure page if that's helpful, but the fact that it isn't spelled out there yet doesn't mean it's outside policy. Frankly I think it's disingenuous of Beeblebrox to describe these as unknown rules based on invisible criteria: the rules are documented prominently at the top of every page we decide to apply sectioned discussion to, which I'm sure he knows. – Joe (talk) 05:48, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: The format of a talk page is not policy. It doesn't have any effect outside of arbitration proceedings. ArbCom is responsible for formulating its own processes and procedures under the arbitration policy. – Joe (talk) 19:45, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Our policies really only go as far as saying "clerks are responsible for maintaining order at arbitration talk pages" but don't really delve into how they can or cannot go about doing this. While I do think it's within both reason and policy for arbitrators to ask how discussions in arbspace be organized (and for clerks to re-organize as needed), it sounds like it's worth discussing whether this practice ought to be used (and when). If people are finding it hard to navigate, then we should weigh its benefits as far as preventing disruption against that. GorillaWarfare (talk) 18:00, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I can only speak for myself, but I sometimes struggle to keep up with absolutely everything said on the case talk pages. I have no problem with people discussing the issue between themselves. In fact, it is probably helpful for the community to do so. I just cannot promise I will be able to read and follow the full exchange between two editors who are going back and forth. In that way, I found the section discussion helpful at the PD in particular in the same way case request statements are segregated. If the community does not feel it is the best way for them to be engaging on cases, then I am fine with going away from editor sectioned discussion. Mkdw talk 18:06, 28 September 2019 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: The sectioned comments were also supposed to make it easier for the committee to read comments directed at them (from the community) and then to reply directly back. If the community wants replies to their questions or comments in a separate section, I do not care as long as it is easier and makes sense. I would want to hear from others if they in fact want that as I have never heard anyone (before your comment now) suggest that receiving responses from the committee in their section was an elitist action. I actually would have assumed the community would want the committee to respond directly in their section (in a discussion format between them and the committee members), but I am not opposed to halting that practice if people do not want it. Mkdw talk 18:40, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
  • One of the roles of clerking is ensure that discussions do not get out of hand and allows people to contribute to those discussions. One of the tools available to clerks in managing that role is the implementation of sectioned discussion - which allows easy discussion with arbitrators and less easy but still possible discussion with other parties (thanks to the ping system). It's not needed in every case, and perhaps it's been used a little too much recently - something I think the committee and clerks should be aware of going forward. WormTT(talk) 09:16, 4 October 2019 (UTC)


Requests for enforcement

Arbitration enforcement action appeal by Paul Siebert

With consensus among admins to decline, the filer has also withdrawn their appeal. El_C 18:11, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Procedural notes: The rules governing arbitration enforcement appeals are found here. According to the procedures, a "clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved administrators" is required to overturn an arbitration enforcement action.

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

Appealing user 
Paul Siebert (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)Paul Siebert (talk) 22:18, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Sanction being appealed 
3 month topic ban from the Eastern Front [21]; see also my informal appeal and a subsequent exchange.
Administrator imposing the sanction 
Sandstein (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA)
Notification of that administrator 

Statement by Paul Siebert

  • In his response, Sandstein correctly writes "you must not speculate about the motives of others". Unfortunatelly, Sandstein's interpretation of my diff#1 and diff#2 as "comparing editors to Nazis" would be hardly possible without assuming that when I wrote "defend Hitler" I wanted to "call these other editors defenders of Nazism". Actually, he cannot know what I really wanted to say, he cannot claim that by writing "X", I meant "Y", and he must not speculate about my motives, per his own rule.
  • As I already explained (see the first part of "Full evidences" section) I didn't use the word "Nazi" in a context of the user MVBW, and there was a very serious reason for that. There is a big difference between advocacy of the views of, for example, David Irving, a legally confirmed Holocaust denier,[1] and pushing just the Suvorov's theory. I am always trying to be accurate in my statements, I described MVBW's actions using the words found in reliable sources, I know that the words "Nazi defender" (or derivatives thereof) are NOT used by scholars to describe Suvorov, and that is why I never applied those words to the actions of MVBW, who is advocating Suvorov's views.
  • The conflict that has lead to this AE report started around the book Icebreaker by Suvorov. It's major idea is that Stalin was more responsible for WWII outbreak than Hitler, and that Hitler's Barbarossa plan was just an act of self-defense.[2][3] Suvorov defends Hitler's decision to attack the USSR, but he does NOT defend Nazism and its crimes, and, accordingly, he is NOT considered a Nazi defender by scholarly community. That is corroborated by the fact that his theory was seriously discussed in respected, mainstream Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung[4], and supported by some democratic and liberal Russian journalists, such as Julia Latynina and Mikhail Veller[23][24]; R.C.Raack, a reputable American historian, sees Suvorov's ideas as deserving thoughtful analysis.[5]Obviously, all of that would be impossible, had Suvorov been an Irving style Nazi defender.
Importantly, both Suvorov's supporters and his critics agree that his books make Hitler look better;[2] many critics say Suvorov's books defend Hitler and his strategic decisions to attack the USSR.[6][7] Other reviews on Icebreaker available at either say pretty much the same, or do not contradict to that conclusion. However, AE is not an appropriate place for presenting a comprehensive list of reviews on that book.
  • I believe it is obvious that when a user A is pushing the book X in Wikipedia, then the epithets that are applicable to X are equally applicable to the actions of A. If reliable sources state that the book X revives a bizarre politics of defending Hitler,[7] the same is applicable to the contributions made by a user A. I don't see any flaw in this logic, but I DO see a serious logical flaw in Sandstein's conclusion that by writing "X's edits defend Hitler" I meant "A user X is a Nazi supporter".

To summarize:

  1. It does not follow from presented evidences that I ever called a user MVBW "Nazi defender".
  2. The fact that Suvorov's books revive a bizarre politics of defending Hitler[7] is an undeniable fact, although it is well known that this author is NOT a Nazi defender.
  3. MVBW is aggressively pushing Suvorov's views (see a third part of the "Full evidences" section).
  4. Therefore, it would be correct to apply the same words (bizarre politics of defending Hitler) to MVBW's actions. That was exactly what I did in my diffs #1&2.

Based on all said above, and taking into account the context, it is obvious that in my diffs #1&2 I actually say that the user MVBW is pushing a fringe theory that defends Hitler, concretely, his decision to attack the USSR. That claim is much less outstanding than the claim that was ascribed to me by Sandstein, it does not need outstanding evidences, and the evidences presented by me here fully support this claim. With regard to formal aspects of these two statements, it seems Sandstein has no objections to that, so I am not discussing this issue here.

In connection to that, independently on a result of that appeal, it would be fair if Sandstein modified his statements where he incorrectly accused me of calling some users "defenders of Nazism".

Appendix. I asked two closely related questions at different fora [25], [26], and the answers were: [27], [28].

@El C: Yes, that does not necessarily suggests POV pushing. However, when an experienced user vandalized the article one time, then does that again, than is doing several partial reverts: this and this this, this, and that in just a couple of days (a clear sluggish edit was), that tells something about the user. Taking into account that the same user has been engaged in a sluggish edit war on the same subject in a sister article: [29], [30], [31],[32], [33], [34], that suggests something about a user. Note, he is persistently removing good English sources and adding some garbage sources. Note, my participation in that edit war was minimal.

@Levivich: It seems you misunderstand something: what happened was a total removal of ALL criticism of the theory that defends Hitler (see my responce to @El C:). By that, a user gave absolutely undue weight to some fringe view. If that is not POV pushing, than what is? If an editor is edit-warring and vandalising the article to advance some POV, they do feel strongly. Regarding a misconception, I repeatedly asked about a wording that could be appropriate in this situation, the answers are shown in the "Appendix" section. My conclusion from these answers is that my wording is ok if it is supported by evidences. My evidences seem adequate, what is the problem? My question is not rhetorical, I sincerely want to master this Wikipedia newspeak.

@Nug: First, discussions of that type are explicitly allowed during appeals. Second, if you remember, I refused to present any evidences against you during EEML arbitration, although, retrospectively, I understand that I could. Don't you feel that it would be noble to abstain from supporting your friend today? @GoldenRing:, @El C:, @Sandstein: As far as I understand, you see a problem primarily with wording. In connection to that, can anybody give me a direct answer to one concrete question:

If I see a disruptive behaviour of a user X, who vandalized the page, removes a well sourced criticism, edit-warring, and, according to reliable sources, this type activity is defending Hitler, what wording can be used to report this user? Note, my post at Sandstein's page was not a part of a normal discussion, it was tantamount to report? What is the problem with a statement "User's X edits defend Hitler"? Does it imply anything about motives?

A second question. Do I understand correct that by banning me from reporting that user you demonstrate me that you see more problem with formal wording than to a potential disruption case? Is it a consolidated position of admins?

I believe if your goal is really to decrease the number of violations, you should explain me that, because I really don't want to use a trial-and-error approach to understand admins' position.

@GoldenRing:, @El C:, @Sandstein:, @Nick-D: I am pointing your attention at the fact that this diff contains a directly false statement: that user never "restored" that sourced content. The references and the criticism that were previously removed by that user were restored by a user who edited this article just before MVBW. A simple browsing of the article's history easily demonstrates that. Making false statements that conceal incorrect actions is a serious violation. As far as I know, that is a second deceptive claim made by MVBW.

The provisions of my topic ban do not allow me to report this user, everywhere except in this thread. I think it is in interests of a community if the provisions of my topic ban will be amended to allow me to report that user, and provide a full description of his violation, which is serious.

@Seraphimblade: It seems you are missing the point. My objection is focused mostly on the equation of "Acting as a Hitler defending" and "Being a Nazi defender", which, as I demonstrated, is totally wrong. The former statement (in a context of the current topic) means being a defender of a theory that, according to reliable sources, defends one concrete strategic decision of Hitler, and I do not think this accusation is not nearly as serious as an accusation of being a Nazi defender. In addition, recent and previous actions of that user seem to add more weight to that my conclusion. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ @Thryduulf:, @Seraphimblade:, @GoldenRing:, @El C: & a closing admin; Concluding remarks Thank you everybody for comments. I think the consensus is clearly to decline the appeal, so it would be correct if some admin closed this case.

I want to make some general statement, where I want to present my general vision of the problem.

When reporting some civil POV pusher, we always have a dilemma: if the report contains just a very neutral and abstract description of user's actions, majority of admins may consider it just a content dispute. If a description of user's actions is too focused on the user's malicious intents, such a report may be considered a personal attack (as this case demonstrated). In connection to that, I think we need some specific rules that define which language is acceptable for reporting civil POV pushers, and, simultaneously, give enough freedom to the user who reports that type misbehaviour. So far, I failed to figure out what these rules are, although from your comment I conclude some wording is a priori not acceptable, whereas some other wording is not. Before that case, I believed that any wording that discusses user's actions "the actions of a user X is YYY" (where "YYY" can be any statement) is a priori ok, whereas any wording that discusses user's personality like "a user X IS YYY" is not. Now I see that it seems wrong.

I am ready to play according any rules, provided that these rules are clear and universally accepted. So far, I failed to find a clear description of those rules. I am not going to use a trial-and-error approach to figure out what is acceptable and whet is not, and it seems the only solution is to address to ArbCom for general explanations, which I am going to do in close future.

Thank you everybody, please, don't waste your time, and close the case.

  1. ^ Peter J. Wosh. Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial by Richard J. Evans. Archival Issues, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2002), pp. 164-166
  2. ^ a b Michael Jabara Carley. The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II by Viktor Suvorov. Review. The International History Review, Vol. 32, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 165-166: "Suvorov's central hypothesis is not based on archival research, but rather on circumstantial evidence, and mainly, on categories of Soviet 'offensive' weapons"..."Suvorov's account may remind readers of a science fiction scenario in which the protagonists travel to an alternate reality where everything is upside down. Evidence does not matter in Suvorov's world where Hitler, too, is a victim of Stalin, the 'chief culprit' who connived at world domination."
  3. ^ Cynthia A. Roberts. Planning for War: The Red Army and the Catastrophe of 1941.Source: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 47, No. 8 (Dec., 1995), pp. 1293-1326 "In a sensational book published in the West and then in Russia, the Russian expatriate and former Soviet army major Viktor Suvorov also blames Stalin for starting the war with Germany. With virtually no documentary sources, Suvorov's book has been viewed in the West as an anti-Soviet track."
  4. ^ Teddy J. Uldricks. The Icebreaker Controversy: Did Stalin Plan to Attack Hitler? Slavic Review, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 626-643 "Likewise, among some segments of the German population there has long been a market for popular literature that provides some sort of justification for the Nazi war effort. Gerd Ueberschar has suggested that the resurgent popularity of the preventive war thesis in Germany springs from an attempt by conservative political forces to refashion an image of the German past acceptable to right-wing nationalists. Even the respected, mainstream Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung got into the controversy, declaring that the preventive war hypothesis had "become more plausible" as a result of Suvorov's findings. In contrast, the icebreaker thesis seems not to have stirred nearly as much interest among either the general public or the scholarly community in France, Britain, or the United States, except perhaps in anti-Semitic circles.
  5. ^ R. C. RAACK. Stalin's Role in the Coming of World War II: OPENING THE CLOSET DOOR ON A KEYCHAPTER OF RECENT HISTORY. World Affairs, Vol. 158, No. 4 (SPRING 1996), pp. 198-211.
  6. ^ Jonathan Haslam. Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia 1941: A Failure of Reasons of State? International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 76, No.1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 133-139: "The claim made originally by Field Marshal Keitel and subsequently reiterated by Suvorov that Hitler, in launching Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941, pre-empted a Soviet attack always was, to say the least, a piece of dubious special pleading on behalf of a lost cause. The reason for its unheralded appearance is not hard to explain. The interpretation proved a godsend to Germans, now freed from postwar constraints, who hoped to place Hitler back into the pantheon of patriotic history."
  7. ^ a b c Mark Von Hagen (2006) Review Article: Pairing Off Dictatorships, The International History Review, 28:3, 567-571, DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2006.9641105 "... he [Overy. -P.S.] rejects a recent revival of the bizarre politics of defending Hitler for having saved Europe from Bolshevism in the 'Icebreaker' polemics that claimed that, as Stalin was planning a preventive war against Hitler, Operation Barbarossa was a defensive war. Curiously, this recent restatement of the claim, which rests on published statements by a defector from Soviet military intelligence, found immediate support among German scholars and cold war anti-Communist scholars elsewhere."

Statement by Sandstein

I recommend that this appeal is declined for the reasons given by Nug and El_C.

As to Levivich's suggestion that a warning would have been appropriate, I think that this appeal indicates that a warning would not have been heeded. The ban was not twice the length of the previous 24h block because the sanctions are not for the same kind of misconduct, and because blocks and topic bans are not equivalent. A block is much more restrictive than a narrow topic ban. Sandstein 06:40, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by My very best wishes

Here is link to WP:AE case under discussion.

Paul completely misrepresents my editing and motivations. @Paul, once again, I did not act "as a Hitler defender" and a "troll", contrary to your claim [35]. I also did not "push a fringe theory that defends Hitler", as you continue claiming here, just as before [36].

@Nick_D. I did not remove sourced criticism from the page (please see my diffs 1.1-1.5 in the original WP:AE case [37]), and the criticism is currently included on the page Icebreaker (Suvorov). If you or anyone else thinks this is not enough, you are very welcome to edit this page and improve it.

@Nick_D. I temporarily removed this content from the page to discuss it on talk and re-include the reliably sourced part of the content with modifications later, after verification. That follows from my editing summary, explanations on the article talk page [38] and actual editing, i.e. restoring version with criticisms, see also my diffs 1.1-1.5 in the original WP:AE case [39]. I never said it was entirely unsourced.
@Nick-D. Do you think my comment on your talk page [40] was problematic? Well, I just wanted to ask if you read the book by Suvorov, because it helps to read the book if you edit a page about the book, it helps to know a theory if you edit a page about theory, etc. It does not matter if an author was right or wrong. If you want to make a good page about the Bible, you should read the Bible, along with literature about the Bible.

Statement by Nug

Paul doesn’t seem to be exhibiting any understanding why he was topic banned in the first place. He says above: ”If reliable sources state that the book X revives a bizarre politics of defending Hitler, the same is applicable to the contributions made by a user A.”. No, it is not okay to conflate a viewpoint or political beliefs held by an author of a source and project it as the POV of an editor using that source in contributing to an article . That would have a chilling effect upon achieving NPOV. The place to assess a source would be WP:RSN or WP:NPOVN. This appears to be a relitigation of the original topic ban, the outcome of which expressly prohibits “continuation of this tedious squabble in any forum, such as through another AE request”Nug (talk) 00:53, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich

@Paul: I would go even further than El_C's formulation and say that an editor can feel very strongly that a particular source should be included, and still not be pushing the POV of that source. For example, Adolf Hitler would not be a complete article without some quotes from Mein Kampf, and so Mein Kampf is a source for the article Adolf Hitler. You'll see "Hitler, A." in the references. I am strongly in favor of including that source in that article; it doesn't mean that I am promoting or pushing Hitler's POV, or that I'm a Hitler fan or Hitler defender.

@Sandstein and other admin: That said, if you look at the original AE report, Sandstein noted that Paul had one prior sanction, a 24hr 1RR block from nine year ago, and so a relatively-brief sanction was merited. I don't think a three months' topic ban from the topic area is relatively brief, or warranted. What happened to the sanction being twice the length of the previous sanction? The previous sanction was a 24hr block 9 years ago for 1RR; there were no previous PA sanctions.

Also, why was a warning skipped? A warning that explained what I explained in my first paragraph above probably would have educated Paul about this point, so he could conform his behavior accordingly. Instead, by just issuing a sanction without an explanation/warning, we get an appeal that misses the point, as this one did. I think Paul needs to be educated about the misconception he has, and the sanction length should be reduced, in light of the fact it's his first PA sanction ever, and the PA consisted of saying that someone else's PA was correct (which is slightly better than making a new PA of your own, I guess). Levivich 01:23, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Statement by (involved editor 2)

Discussion among uninvolved editors about the appeal by Paul Siebert

  • As a general comment, I looked into experts' views on Suvorov and his book Icebreaker as part of drafting the para on this at Operation Barbarossa#Soviet preparations (please see the last para). This material was discussed on the talk page of that article before being added and has now survived with no significant changes for several years. Icebreaker is generally considered unreliable by experts in this field, two of whom have gone to the trouble of writing entire books to rebut it. As such, the Icebreaker (Suvorov) article should go into greater detail on the reactions to the book by experts than it currently does. In particular, it should be made clear to readers that Suvorov's argument has little support among historians and the book is generally not considered reliable. The material being added by the IP was a mix of bad and OK content though, and it's sensible to have removed it pending proper review of sources given that this is a somewhat complex topic with a surprisingly large literature covering it. Nick-D (talk) 01:30, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
    • In response to this post, User:My very best wishes posted this on my talk page arguing that Suvorov should be taken seriously. Given that Suvorov is very much a fringe source, I find it concerning that My very best wishes is removing criticism of the book from the article. I suspect that Paul has grounds for being concerned and frustratated here. Nick-D (talk) 05:18, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
      • It is also concerning that My very best wishes is now claiming that they did not remove sourced criticism from the page as they did exactly that, twice [41] [42]. There are some OK grounds to have removed this material given that the presence of uncited POV claims in what the editor added makes the whole package suspect, but it is dishonest to state that it was entirely unsourced. I can't say that I remember having encountered this editor before, but this kind of deception is as awful as it is stupid. Nick-D (talk) 05:57, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Result of the appeal by Paul Siebert

This section is to be edited only by uninvolved administrators. Comments by others will be moved to the sections above.
  • I agree with Nug. An editor could contribute content that's derived from a source without necessarily being engaged in promoting the views that the source represents. El_C 01:11, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I more or less agree with Paul on the content here; removing all criticism of a book that absolves Hitler of responsibility for WWII is not acceptable (note that I haven't looked into whether that is what MVBW was doing and it is not necessary to find out for the purposes of this analysis). But even if that was exactly what MVBW was doing, it is not appropriate to dismiss another editor's views by accusing them of defending Hitler. The way to resolve such disputes is by collegial discussion and getting more editors involved to form consensus on the subject. I don't care if reliable sources accuse the book of defending Hitler; imputing that same motive to other editors is not appropriate. This is clear BATTLEGROUND behaviour and, in my view, the sanction was warranted. I would decline the appeal. GoldenRing (talk) 10:08, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
  • There is not any interpretation needed here; the very diffs cited in the appeal states that ...MVBW was definitely acting as Hitler's defender, and ...aimed to whitewash Hitler.... Ironically, these represent the very types of speculations on another editor's motive that Paul Siebert objects to in his appeal statement. Of course, one might disagree with edits another editor makes, but the old saw to focus on content, not the contributor is especially critical in sensitive areas subject to discretionary sanctions. That didn't happen here, the sanction was appropriately levied for personalizing the argument rather than simply focusing on content, and I would decline the appeal. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:23, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with Seraphimblade and so will decline this appeal if no other admin objects. @Nick-D: et al, it is irrelevant to this appeal what MVBW's actions were, and/or whether they were correct or otherwise (and I make no judgement on that) - the only thing relevant is whether is Paul Siebert's behaviour and whether the sanction for it was correctly applied. If you wish to discuss MVBW's actions, then you need to do so in an appropriate forum (which might or might not be an AE report about them). Thryduulf (talk) 17:16, 13 October 2019 (UTC)