Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2

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Case Opened on 21:38, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Case Closed on 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Please do not edit this page directly unless you are either 1) an Arbitrator, 2) an Arbitration Clerk, or 3) adding yourself to this case. Statement on this page are originally comments provided at arbitration request and serve as opening statements. As such, they should not be altered. All further changes to comments should go on /Evidence subpage.

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

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

Involved parties[edit]

Statement by John254[edit]

In Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Episodes_and_characters#Parties_urged, this Committee found that

The parties are urged to work collaboratively and constructively with the broader community and the editors committed to working on the articles in question to develop and implement a generally acceptable approach to resolving the underlying content dispute.

Actually, however, the participants in this content dispute have choosen to settle the matter through massive edit warring -- for example, see the page histories of A Mattress on Wheels (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) and The Man Who Killed Batman (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). A review of Special:Contributions/TTN clearly indicates that these edit wars have affected a large number of articles, and have therefore become quite disruptive. For instance, TTN re-redirected 8 articles in a single minute on 20:40, 13 January 2008 [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. Of course, the Arbitration Committee is not asked to resolve the underlying content dispute on its merits, or even to interpret the present state of community consensus regarding this issue. However, edit warring this severe presents clear user conduct issues that are amenable to resolution by the Arbitration Committee. John254 02:34, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

With regard to the statement by Collectonian, I have included all the users who I found to be involved in these edit wars as parties to the case, without attempting to ascertain their degree of involvement or relative fault. Should this case be accepted, users with only incidental involvement obviously would not have any findings or remedies issued against them. Moreover, because I have not scrutinized the page history of every involved article, there may be some users with significant involvement in the edit wars who I have neglected to include, and who would need to be added to this case. John254 02:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I have added Eusebeus (talk · contribs) and Pixelface (talk · contribs) to this request. Both of these users are clearly involved in the edit warring over the redirection of a large number of articles -- for Eusebeus, see [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16], and for Pixelface see [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]. John254 04:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Even after this request for arbitration was filed, TTN continued unabated in his edit warring over the redirection of television episode articles -- see [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57]. John254 21:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
TTN engaged in even more edit warring over the redirection of articles recently -- see [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65]. John254 03:02, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Collectonian[edit]

I was not involved in the Episode and Characters RfA in any way, shape, or form. I request an explanation as to why I have been included in this second RfA and evidence that I have been involved in "massive edit warring" regarding episode articles, as I only did a single revert in the two articles mentioned as per some discussion over in ANI. I did not repeat the revert and didn't even put the page in my watch list. So please provide evidence specific to me. Collectonian (talk) 02:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Sesshomaru[edit]

I'd like to know myself how I've been involved in this get up. One revert, to me, does not count as "edit warring". If I'm listed here because I often side with TTN on occasions regarding WP:EPISODE and WP:NN, then I suggest that you, John254, remove me from this nonsense. Bear you any sufficient evidence in my part in this so-called "ploy"? Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 03:42, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I reiterate, see explanation.Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 05:32, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Sceptre[edit]

This is a case that needs to be examined more in more detail. The previous RfAr did nothing at all to stop the edit wars. Will (talk) 03:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Casliber[edit]

My involvement in this particular standoff began a few hours ago when I noted the rollback of individual episodes of a famous British sitcom Open All Hours. Though (as anyone would guess looking through my contribs) I am an inclusionist, I have abided by results of AfD debates. However, I noted this one had not been discussed at TTN had merged content and removed redlinks without any formal process, so I reverted [66] and recommended that this be taken up at AfD. Another contributor BlackKite, whose views lie more with the TTN than mine I'd guess has conceded [67] that these episodes are likely to have sources. Upon which I was reverted by TTN, [68], then User:Sesshomaru, [69] and User:Eusebeus on one of the episodes [70]

The rationale used is that it is a redirect not a delete, yet the material on the episode pages is deleted (and no attempt was made to move any material over to the parent page). AfD is about debating whether a particular article should exist as such on wikipedia and whether there is a link to a larger article or not is irrelevant. I am concerned that what is happening is Gaming the system to bypass AfD and avoid analysis over removal of material. It is certainly inconsistent with recent policy on AfD. Even Wikipedia:N#Articles_not_satisfying_the_notability_guidelines suggests some sort of time frame rather than minutes. If hoaxes and other such material gets a few days then why the need to remove instantly?

All I asked for was that the material be discussed at AfD to obtain a broader consensus.

I note TTN has voiced this opinion at the last hearing, however I have not seen that happening today.

I note in this debate, there has been criticism over the speed it came after this one.

I should point out there have been other editors involved in several other debates over the past few months with different TV series, so that restricting this debate to these two series and these participants may not be helpful in the long run - in agrement with Sceptre above. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Crotalus that part of the issue is where we draw the line at notability and essentially how much detail/depth wikipedia should go into. The great pity is that large swathes of material is deleted after there has only been a cursory, if any, look for independent sources. Sadly, much is not directly accessible online and requires actually having written material. In this way I feel WP can raise the standard of much pop. culture material that is circulated. Many editors are young who have never seen a university library and the wealth of material therein.

Finally, I should add that the above is complicated by the fact that TTN is showing behaviour consistent with being a Single-purpose account with the agenda of removing as much TV-related material as possible, and has become fixated upon it, whether rightly or wrongly. From the issues at AN/I and frequency of conflict I see an inability to interact constructively with others who do not share his (her?) point of view. If we are to presume this zeal is from a dedication to the project, I do not see anything in the way of contributing to the encyclopedia (though there was a little to start off with in 2006) and I find it hard to believe the motive is positive (i.e. benefit to Wikipedia) rather than from a negative reason (i.e. some form of massive vandalism). However, I am happy to wait for Arbcom and work collaboratively with all concerned in the future. cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:40, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Ned Scott[edit]

Instead of a whole new case, I urge arbcom to just look at some of the proposed stuff from the last case, and re-evaluate that. However, even that might not be necessary, since those fighting with reverting are asking for a block. (I say this to both sides of the dispute). It no longer matters who's right or wrong. I know how TTN and others feel, and I know how frustrating it is, but we have to do something that tells others that we honestly are trying to help others understand, and not just doing things with force. -- Ned Scott 08:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I was not involved in this specific set of articles, but as someone who said they'd watch for these situations to help avoid them, I'd like to be added as a party. Although, again, I urge arbcom to just add something onto the past case, instead of a whole new case. -- Ned Scott 01:21, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Pixelface[edit]

I'm really not surprised the issue of television episode articles is again before the committee, but I do not believe I have been involved in any edit wars over television episodes articles. On January 13, 2008 I removed redirects from 96 Scrubs episode articles and then discovered an ANI thread had been initiated[71] against me. It should be noted that Corvus cornix did not leave a message on my talk page asking me to stop before he initiated that ANI thread. Four minutes after initiating[72] that ANI thread and after I had removed 96 redirects, on January 13, 2008 at 22:22 (UTC), Corvus cornix left a {{ANI-notice}} on my talk page[73] and informed me there was currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents involving me. Corvus cornix said "Pixelface is reverting all of TTN's edits." and that is patently false. I was removing redirects from Scrubs episode articles because there appeared to me to be no consensus for those articles be redirects on Talk:List of Scrubs episodes. After the ANI thread began, I removed 3 more redirects from Scrubs episode articles and then stopped removing them. I have been open to discuss my edits. No action was brought against me. I've never been accused before of edit-warring after performing one edit to several articles I've never edited before, and such a definition of "edit war" is news to me.

Statement by Eusebeus[edit]

I am indifferent as to whether this goes to arbitration again, although if it can offer fuirther elucidation it may be salutary. As the editor who initiated the recent redirects of Scrubs episodes and subsequently reverted Pixel's ill-advised attempts to restore them (which has provoked the latest tempest) I'll offer a brief commentary. When consensus changes with respect to TV episodes requiring substantial real-world impact as a basis for standalone articles, I'll gladly desist redirecting. But in this case, there has been plenty of discussion on the talk pages of the series in question and no basis for retention has been adduced for almost all the articles in question. This is a disruptive effort by a small and determined set of editors, steadfast in their conviction that Wikipedia policy can be trumped by the aggregation of committed interests and apparently blithe to the policies we have in place. That is shameful, given the clarity with which our policies indicate the standard that needs to be met. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a fansite. These actions are wholly legitimated by the standards we have collectively derived. Eusebeus (talk) 05:30, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite[edit]

Bringing this back to ArbCom would appear to be the only way of reining in the disruptive editing which is occurring (and is not limited to one "side"). Episode articles are a tricky breed - there is every opportunity available for them to be made into viable articles that meet policy, but it is all too easy to create stubs which are plot summary and little else. Scrubs is a good example of this - for example compare My Musical - a perfectly good article - with My Mentor, which isn't. Other less notable TV series, however, have spawned numerous episode articles which are little more than plot summaries, and have little chance of being expanded past this state (example, another). In these situations redirecting to a summary page is without doubt the right decision. In my opinion if a number of editors who are spending large amounts of time attempting to wikilawyer their way round our policies (here, for example) would expend their time improving the articles to the standard of the one above, we wouldn't be here again. This is along the lines of the statement made by SirFozzie above, with which I concur.

Statement by Geni[edit]

this edit summery by TTN dirrectly conflicts with the content of the article. TTN has repeatly reveted in spite of this fact. Since it would appear that TTN is no longer even skim reading the articles they redirect I belive that they need to be prevented from such activities in order to facilitate a negotated settlement.Geni 20:08, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Anthony Appleyard[edit]

  • Much of the stated cause is about "removing cruft" and similar. But cruftiness is often relative or a matter of opinion; one man's cruft may be another man's relevant matter. For example, I have no interest in football, and if I find football matter in a newspaper I skip over it, and if it comes on the television I switch off or switch over; but I know that it is important to many people and I do not delete it or redirect it out in Wikipedia.
  • It may be that, for each series/etc whose episode pages have been redirectified in this way, some sort of AfD-type discussion may need to be started to decide whether to restore its episode pages, after this discussion has come to a verdict.

Anthony Appleyard (talk) 14:44, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

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

  • Accept to look at the conduct of all, and if possible, to provide some kind of basic perspective regarding the principles being disputed over. Not only follow-up of a previous case, but unlikely to be resolved by anything less, short of "blunt instrument" use of admin tools. It was hoped that general encouragement to work together at a solution would help last time, but it seems it was insufficient. The consensus related norms which might have helped, seem to have gone unheeded. We can try to do better here, I think. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have felt this issue needed additional remedies for some time but I had hoped that it could be done through a motion in the existing case (which closed as recently as 28 December). Perhaps the easiest way would be to reopen that case, but the issue needs to be addressed. Sam Blacketer (talk) 10:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 20:34, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept to look at editor conduct issues that are preventing collaborative, consensus building discussions. FloNight (talk) 21:52, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Temporary injunction[edit]

1) For the duration of this case, no editor shall redirect or delete any currently existing article regarding a television series episode or character; nor un-redirect or un-delete any currently redirected or deleted article on such a topic, nor apply or remove a tag related to notability to such an article. Administrators are authorized to revert such changes on sight, and to block any editors that persist in making them after being warned of this injunction.

Passed 4 to 0 at 02:07, 3 February 2008 (UTC).
Note: Injunction ceases to be in effect, due to closure of case, at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Final decision[edit]

All numbering based on /Proposed decision (vote counts and comments are there as well)


Editorial process[edit]

1) Wikipedia works by building consensus. This is done through the use of polite discussion—involving the wider community, if necessary—and dispute resolution, rather than through disruptive editing. Editors are each responsible for noticing when a debate is escalating into an edit war, and for helping the debate move to better approaches by discussing their differences rationally. Edit-warring, whether by reversion or otherwise, is prohibited; this is so even when the disputed content is clearly problematic, with only a few exceptions. Revert rules should not be construed as an entitlement or inalienable right to revert, nor do they endorse reverts as an editing technique.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


2) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia, in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. While disagreements among editors are inevitable, all editors are expected to work calmly and reasonably towards resolving them, to collaborate in good faith, and to compromise where appropriate—even if they believe that their viewpoint is the only correct one.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Fait accompli[edit]

3) Editors who are collectively or individually making large numbers of similar edits, and are apprised that those edits are controversial or disputed, are expected to attempt to resolve the dispute through discussion. It is inappropriate to use repetition or volume in order to present opponents with a fait accompli or to exhaust their ability to contest the change. This applies to many editors making a few edits each, as well as a few editors making many edits.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


4) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other users; to approach even difficult situations in a dignified fashion and with a constructive and collaborative outlook; and to avoid acting in a manner that brings the project into disrepute. Unseemly conduct, such as personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, trolling, harassment, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, is prohibited.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


5) All editors are expected to comply with the rulings of the Arbitration Committee.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Findings of fact[edit]

Locus of dispute[edit]

1) The dispute centers on the existence of articles regarding individual episodes and characters from television series, and is part of a broader disagreement regarding the interpretation of notability guidelines with reference to fictional and popular culture topics.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Unclear status[edit]

2) The body of precedent and convention regarding the matter under dispute is unclear, with the major current guideline being applied inconsistently, and old historical precedent tending towards a contradictory viewpoint.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Poor behavior[edit]

3) Editors from all sides of the dispute have at times engaged in inappropriate behavior, including incivility, personal attacks, assumptions of bad faith, and edit-warring.

Passed 10 to 0 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


4) Since the ruling in the original Episodes and characters case, TTN (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has not "worked collaboratively and constructively with the broader community" as he was urged to do.

Passed 9 to 1 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

TTN restricted[edit]

1) TTN (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is prohibited for six months from making any edit to an article or project page related to a television episode or character that substantially amounts to a merge, redirect, deletion, or request for any of the preceding, to be interpreted broadly. He is free to contribute on the talk pages or to comment on any AfD, RfD, DRV, or similar discussion initiated by another editor, as appropriate. Should he violate this restriction, he may be blocked for the duration specified in the enforcement ruling below.

Passed 9 to 1 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).

Parties instructed and warned[edit]

2) The parties are instructed to cease engaging in editorial conflict and to work collaboratively to develop a generally accepted and applicable approach to the articles in question. They are warned that the Committee will look very unfavorably on anyone attempting to further spread or inflame this dispute.

Passed 9 to 1 at 23:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC).


Enforcement of restrictions

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

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

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
Appeals by sanctioned editors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important notes:

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

Log of blocks and bans[edit]

Log any block, ban or extension under any remedy in this decision here. Minimum information includes name of administrator, date and time, what was done and the basis for doing it.

  • TTN (talk · contribs) blocked one week for editing articles in violation of these restrictions. See [74] and [75]. RlevseTalk 11:56, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • TTN was blocked for two weeks violating his restrictions shortly after a previous block, notably requesting a redirect on a project page.[76] He was unblocked after agreeing to avoid initiating discussions related to his restriction and to refrain from asking others to act on his behalf, until ArbCom may review his appeal for clarification.[77][78] Vassyana (talk) 15:31, 17 May 2008 (UTC)