Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Franco-Mongol alliance

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Case Opened on 21:47, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Case Closed on 01:02, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Watchlist all case pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

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. Statements on this page are original comments provided at arbitration request and serve as opening statements. As such, they should not be altered. Any evidence you wish to provide to the Arbitrators should go on the /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]

Other parties may need to be added.


Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Statement by Jehochman[edit]

This is long festering dispute about the addition of ahistorical information to Middle Ages articles. Not unlike Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sadi Carnot we have a longstanding editor who appears to be publishing original research in Wikipedia, misrepresenting sources, and frustrating the deletion process and consensus by tendentiously reinstalling content that the community has decided to remove.

Mediation of the content dispute was attempted, but User:Tariqabjotu closed the case because the process was failing. PHG has now decided to increase the drama a notch by calling for Elonka to resign,[7]. The claims of bad faith are flying. Before this degenerates further, I request that the Committee scrutinize the behavior of all parties. Jehochman Talk 15:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I am very concerned that severe damage is being done to the encyclopedia through the addition of unverifiable, ahistorical information to a large number of articles. The community has been unable to control the problem. This has been going on for half a year. Rather than blocking PHG, which would be highly controversial, though justifiable in my opinion, I am bringing the matter here instead. ArbCom has sharper tools, and hopefully can craft a less restrictive remedy. Previous discussions in other forums have failed to produce any sort of resolution. The problem appears to be getting worse, not better. Arbitration sooner rather than later will help reduce the amount of disruption and bad blood. Jehochman Talk 15:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Here's a deleted article: [8] Mongol raids on Jerusalem
Here's a listed source: [9]
How does this source, which makes about five passing references to Jerusalem, the most on point one being, "the Frankish Crusaders, clinging precariously to a narrow strip of Syrian coast, both hoped and feared that the Mongols might drive the Muslims from Jerusalem and restore the holy places to Christian possession.", support an article that starts out with, "In 1260, the Mongol ruler Hulagu conquered vast parts of the Holy Land, usually in alliance with the Franks and the Christian Armenians."? Jehochman Talk 14:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by Elonka[edit]

My statement is going to be about two views here, one in how I see this on-wiki, and another off. On-wiki, I don't think it's appropriate to have an ArbCom case on this at this time. I see ArbCom as something that is needed for complex user conduct cases, where the community has not been successful in dealing with them via other means. In this particular case, the community has been successful. We had one editor, PHG, who has been camping on an article in violation of WP:OWN, who has been using bad sources and has been misinterpreting good sources, and has been creating multiple POV forks. See User:Elonka/Mongol quickref for a few paragraphs that give context about the history involved, and the related content disputes. The proper way to handle this via Wikipedia procedures (without ArbCom) is to identify problems with the article(s), build consensus on the talkpage(s), and proceed with cleanup. Which is exactly what we've been doing lately. Now, it is true that in the early part of this dispute, meaning Fall 2007, things were exacerbated because we didn't have very many participants who understood the history involved, so we ended up with a kind of stalemate between me and PHG, with him saying, "Here's the history," and me saying, "No, that's not history, that's you cherry-picking and misinterpreting sources." Over the last month (January 2008) though, we have gotten more editors in to look at the situation, and consensus-building has been much easier (except for PHG). So, in a case where we have one editor who is not willing to work in a cooperative and collegial manner with other editors towards consensus-building, we already have Wikipedia procedures in place -- we have uninvolved administrators who can look into the situation, and warn and block as necessary. There is no need for ArbCom, as all that ArbCom would be able to do would be to confirm the same thing that any uninvolved administrator would: "PHG is being disruptive, PHG is reverting obsessively, PHG should be blocked if he continues to disrupt." We don't need a multi-month ArbCom case that wastes dozens of hours of time on the part of multiple good editors, to come up with that same conclusion.

And now, the off-wiki aspect. There are times in my life that I've got lots of free time for Wikipedia, and there are times that I don't. This coming month is going to be a "don't" time, since I've got a major tradeshow coming up in a few weeks. So if it's decided that there is going to be an ArbCom case on this, I just won't be able to participate much. Which will put ArbCom and the other participants in an awkward situation where they're forced to decide on either proceeding without me, or by further extending the case to allow time for me to assemble my own evidence. Which (my free time availability) I know is not one of the major factors on "should a case be accepted or not," but I wanted to make the Committee aware.

My own off-wiki time constraints aside though, I still recommend that this case not be accepted. The community is already dealing with the situation, and I can't see as any ArbCom decision would really change much about how the situation is proceeding. What would the result be? "PHG has been disruptive, PHG is cautioned to work in a collegial manner with other editors. Anyone engaging in disruptive behavior can be blocked by any uninvolved administrator." Which is what we're already doing. --Elonka 09:14, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Since the case is open, I have posted an expanded statement in my evidence section. --Elonka 07:19, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Statement by PHG[edit]

I have been contributing to Wikipedia since 2004/03/06, with over 23,389 edits to date, all referenced from reputable published material. I created more than 200 articles, and 8 articles which I created or unstubbed reached FA status (Boshin War, Imperial Japanese Navy, Hasekura Tsunenaga, Indo-Greek Kingdom, History of Buddhism etc...). I also have contributed hundreds of photographs from Museums around the world. My main interests revolve around cultural interaction through the Ages, and I enjoy developing content on these subjects. I am a multinational business manager, with over 20 years experience working in Asia, the US and Europe. I am a fervent supporter of Wikipedia:NPOV policy, according to which all significant views should be presented in articles.

When I created the Franco-Mongol alliance article in August 2007, I soon entered into heated discussions with Elonka whether there was actually an alliance or not and other details. She first tried to have the article renamed, but failed (here). Despite the quantity of authors who specifically described this alliance (here), she kept arguing that the view was "fringe" and did not deserve balanced representation with the alternative view ("only attempts at an alliance"...). She then tried quite violently to discredit me through the Administrator notice board, but again failed (here), thanks to several users who spoke up for me. I responded by pointing out her behaviour (here), without asking for punitive action. Actually her actions in relation to this article generated many of the Opposes in her recent nomination as Admin (here). She still spends a huge amount of time leaving enormous diatribes against me on various Talk Pages and User Pages (here or here for example). I even had to file a claim for harassment (here). Besides, I'm glad I'm not the only one: Elonka has a huge history of dubious disputes and litigations with many other contributors as well (an example).

Recently, Elonka again attacked the Franco-Mongol alliance page, trying to force her own rewrite, deleting 130k of content established collaboratively over a period of 6 months and over 300 academic sources, through false claims of consensus (Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance#False claim of consensus). I think this conduct is unrespectfull of Wikipedia rules and unethical. She also has thrown false accusations in order to smear me (Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance#Why is the "longer version" get even longer?), and resorted to personal attacks, calling me a lier [10], when she is actually the one lying about facts, like claiming I added 50k of new content through a reinstalment of deleted content (here). On the Franco-Mongol alliance article I have only been upholding Wikipedia's rule that is there is no consensus for a replacement of a main article by an individual's own version, then the status quo should prevail. I expect every Wikipedian to uphold these rules as well.

What the heck? I'm here to share knowledge and contribute fascinating, referenced, stuff about ancient history and cultural interaction, and I must say I am not at all interested in Wikipedia politics or lobbying day long against specific users. Best regards to all. PHG (talk) 11:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Statement by WJBscribe[edit]

I am in two minds about whether this matter is appropriate for ArbCom. On the one hand, we do have mounting user conduct issues - especially the increasingly ludicrous ownership of the central article by PHG - and a failed attempt at mediation. On the other, we have a dispute heavily routed in content that is hard to process without getting involved in those issues. Involving itself in matters of content is something ArbCom prefers not to do but where the central issues are about accuracy of information, representation of sources and neutral POV it is hard to separate conduct and content. Violation of content policies is misconduct but it is hard to determine whether such conduct breaches have occured without taking a view on the content questions. Ultimately either PHG is trying to push a misleading account of the events covered by the article or he is not.

If ArbCom is willing to have a thorough look at this issue - including the underlying problems with whether Wikipedia policies on neutral point of view and fringe theories have been followed - then there are clear merits in pursuing this case. If only the most superficial of conduct issues will be touched upon, then this will likely prove a waste of time. A general admonishment for participants to work towards consensus isn't in my opinion going to be of help here. WjBscribe 15:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (7/2/0/1)[edit]

  • Accept to look at user conduct issues that are interfering with reaching consensus. The Community has not been able to sort this out. FloNight (talk) 21:03, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept; per Flonight there is disruption of article writing; serious issues of user conduct are alleged and there has been a failure of mediation. Sam Blacketer (talk) 23:43, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:49, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Decline, we are unlikely to be able to help. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 03:59, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept. Deskana (talk) 11:42, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 16:11, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Decline, I'm inclined to agree with UC. I've asked a few editors to give their opinions. I may change my mind based upon further review. Paul August 18:20, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 05:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Accept, per Sam Blacketer. --bainer (talk) 08:07, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Recuse - Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:07, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

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

Principles[edit]

Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Reliability of content[edit]

2) Maintaining the reliability and accuracy of article content is extremely important. Where the accuracy or reliability of an edit or an article is questioned, contributors are expected to engage in good-faith, civil discussion and work toward a resolution of the concern.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Sourcing[edit]

3) Statements in articles should be supported by citation to reliable sources and may not constitute original research. Appropriate sourcing is particularly important where the contents of an article are controversial or their accuracy is disputed.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Accuracy of sourcing[edit]

4) The contents of source materials must be presented accurately and fairly. By quoting from or citing to a source, an editor represents that the quoted or cited material fairly and accurately reflects or summarizes the contents and meaning of the original source, and that it is not being misleadingly or unfairly excerpted out of context.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Neutral point of view[edit]

5) Article content must be presented from a neutral point of view. Where different scholarly viewpoints exist on a topic, those views enjoying a reasonable degree of support should be reflected in article content. An article should fairly represent the weight of authority for each such view, and should not give undue weight to views held by a relatively small minority of commentators or scholars.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Problematic editing[edit]

6) Contributors whose actions over a period of time are detrimental to the goal of creating a high-quality encyclopedia may be asked to refrain from those actions, when other efforts to address the issue have failed, even when their actions are undertaken in good faith.

passed 8-0 at 00:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

Locus of dispute[edit]

1) The locus of the dispute is editing by PHG (talk · contribs) on articles relating to medieval and ancient history, including but not limited to Franco-Mongol Alliance and related articles.

passed 8-0 at 00:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Misrepresentation of sources[edit]

2) In numerous edits to a series of articles concerning medieval and ancient history, including but not limited to articles relating to the alleged Franco-Mongol Alliance, PHG has cited scholarly books and articles for propositions that the cited works do not fairly support. Typically, PHG has isolated on a particular statement or quotation within a work and taken it out of context without fairly presenting the viewpoint of the source taken as a whole. Some examples of this have been presented by the parties here. Arbitrators' independent review of several of PHG's sourced edits versus the content of the original sources confirms that several sources have been cited in a misleading or distorted fashion. Although we continue to assume good faith with regard to the intent of PHG's editing, its overall effect is problematic.

passed 8-0 at 00:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Reactions to questioning[edit]

3) Concerns have been raised about PHG's editing over a significant period of time and on a variety of articles relating to medieval and ancient history. In response, he has often failed to acknowledge any legitimacy to the concerns raised about his edits or to work collaboratively with other editors in an effort to address them. At times, PHG has reacted to the concerns raised by making uncivil comments or personal attacks (examples) or by edit-warring (examples).

passed 8-0 at 00:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Remedies[edit]

PHG restricted[edit]

1) PHG (talk · contribs) is prohibited from editing articles relating to medieval or ancient history for a period of one year. He is permitted to make suggestions on talk pages, provided that he interacts with other editors in a civil fashion.

Passed 8-0 at 01:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Amended at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG in February 2009, and by motions in March and November 2010.

PHG reminded[edit]

2) PHG is reminded that in contributing to Wikipedia (including his talkpage contributions, contributions in other subject-matter areas, and contributions after the one-year editing restriction has expired), it is important that all sourced edits must fairly and accurately reflect the content of the cited work taken as a whole.

passed 8-0 at 01:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

PHG encouraged[edit]

3) PHG is encouraged to continue contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in other ways, including by suggesting topics for articles, making well-sourced suggestions on talkpages, and continuing to contribute free-content images to Wikimedia Commons.

passed 8-0 at 01:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

PHG reminded: collaborative consensus[edit]

4) PHG is reminded that Wikipedia is a collaborative project and it is essential that all editors work towards compromise and a neutral point of view in a good-faith fashion. When one editor finds themselves at odds with most other editors on a topic, it can be disruptive to continue repeating the same argument. After suggestions have been properly considered and debated, and possible options considered, if a consensus is clear, the collegial and cooperative thing to do is to acknowledge the consensus, and move on to other debates. Consensus can change, but this generally requires either the changing of circumstances, the introduction of new information, the passing of a period of time to recheck consensus, or the entrance of new voices or opinions into the discussion.

passed 8-0 at 01:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

PHG is required to provide a means for the Community to verify his sources.[edit]

5) For the next year:

  • PHG is required to provide a means for the Community to verify his sources. For the next year:
  • PHG is required to use sources that are in English and widely available.
and/or
  • PHG is required to use a mentor to assist with sourcing the articles that he edits. The mentors selected must be approved by the Arbitration Committee. In case of doubt raised by another user in respect of a source or citation by PHG, the mentors' views shall be followed instead of those of PHG.
passed 8-0 at 10:01, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Nomination

Administrator Coren kindly volonteered and confirmed that he accepts to assist me as a mentor for sourcing [11]. Could the Arbcom approve? Thanks PHG (talk) 18:21, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Approved. FloNight♥♥♥ 15:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
User:Angusmclellan appointed as new mentor.[12] 12:40, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Enforcement[edit]

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 arbcom-en@wikimedia.org).
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.

  • Blocked 48 hours - breaches of mainspace (remedy 1), civility (remedy 1) and also expressed my concerns over other remedies. See full text: User talk:PHG#Block (diff). FT2 (Talk | email) 20:11, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  • PHG (talk · contribs) has been blocked for 60 hours, for creation of an article related to medieval history, as well as several other contributions in violation of #PHG restricted. Cautionary note has been issued here (diff). AGK § 19:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • PHG (talk · contribs) blocked indef by Coren for "Apparently introducing deliberately false information despite admititions by the AC not to." which was overturned the next day by El C as "premature". Entry made by Rlevse. RlevseTalk 00:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
  • PHG (talk · contribs) blocked one week and is strongly encouraged to seek a mentor. Long term pattern of behavior violating restrictions. See [13] RlevseTalk 01:20, 14 April 2008 (UTC)