Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist

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Case Opened on 14:53, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Case Closed on 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Case Amended by motion on 12:34, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Please do not edit this page directly unless you wish to become a participant in this case. Only add a statement here after the case has begun if you are named as a party; otherwise, your statement may be placed on the talk page, and will be read in full. Evidence, no matter who can provide it, is very welcome at /Evidence. Evidence is more useful than comments.

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 closed cases should not be edited otherwise. Please raise any questions at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#Requests for clarification.

Involved parties[edit]

Requests for comment[edit]

Statement by ScienceApologist[edit]

User:Martinphi has taken a hardline attack stance towards what he deems is pseudoskepticism at Wikipedia violating the spirit and letter of consensus, civility, and no personal attacks. He has maintained attack pages outside of Wikipedia, has engaged in tendentious editing (as documented in his RfC), has wholesale attacked members of a WikiProject that he maintains membership in to make a point [1], [2], [3] . The earlier arbitration on paranormal did not deal with his specific behavior, but since it has been well documented for some time and does not seem to be abating, it is time for the arbitration committee to take it up. This arbitration was initiated after asking Martinphi to remove a personal attack on Wikipedia: WikiProject Rational Skepticism and receiving nothing more than a brick wall [4]. ScienceApologist 21:26, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Response by Martinphi[edit]

I have tried to uphold the spirit of Wikipeida, both in civility and in NPOV, and I have tried to apply the recent ArbCom on the paranormal in a very moderate and straightforward way, always making sure that skepticism is included in the leads and bodies of articles. I have many diffs and links which will fill out my case, but don't have time to fill them in now. But just one point: some of the most important things I say in my so-called attack site (excuse me, that's supposed attack site- an inside joke) are the very things which the ArbCom decided to uphold.

For a long time -till a few days ago- the ArbCom decision took care of the problems we were having in the paranormal articles. With some recent edits by ScienceApologist and another couple of editors, one of whom was once banned from editing the paranormal, the problems have begun to return.

There are two requests I'd like to make of the Arbitrators:

1. As in the previous ArbCom case, I ask that the Arbitrators look at my actual edits, rather than what people say about me.

2. I ask that only my behavior since the previous ArbCom be considered, because that reflects me as an editor today.

There's one more thing you should look at, which really sums up my general attitude since the ArbCom:

Even if edit warring.....

Responses to other editors:

  • Response to Wikidudeman: I said that Raul654 abused his admin powers. I stand by that, because he protected a page where he was part of a dispute. I believe that such behavior is an abuse of admin powers. I acted mistakenly and in ignorance of what I was dealing with on that page, but Raul654 should have had another admin protect the page, if necessary.
  • Response to LuckyLouie: I do think you are biased. There is nothing wrong with being biased, and every editor is. However, I simply felt that as someone who had been intimately involved in the article, you shouldn't review it for GA status. I also felt that your suggestions were biased by your firm belief that, to quote you in that discussion "It's clear that EVP is not a legitimate observable phenomena." And in addition, in the same way that I would recuse myself from reviewing articles which dealt, say, with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, so you should recuse yourself from reviewing paranormal articles. I'm sure many who dislike me would be the first to point out my affiliation with the paranormal project were I to try.
  • Response to MastCell: No, I didn't take the ArbCom as a complete vindication. However, the Arbitrators took the most essential points from my essay (the one deleted as POV from my userspace), and incorporated them into the decision. I've tried very hard since the ArbCom not to edit war, and I've made a change in my editing style to do so: this has been difficult in the last few days, as editors have been trying to clearly violate the ArbCom decision. That's why yesterday I put in some easy links for edit summaries. You would too, rather than write them out.
  • Response to several: I never used a sock puppet to edit an article in which there was a dispute. I have one sock puppet, and the Arbitrators are welcome to find out what I did with it- the history is very short, and only on one article.
  • Response to JoshuaZ: Well, if the ArbCom didn't agree with me, I agree with the ArbCom.
  • Note: I'm being called a particularly uncivil editor- without proof.

General response:

At the previous ArbCom, I admitted my mistakes, and changed my behavior aftewards (mainly, I tried very hard not to edit war). I have kept to these changes: I have made a huge effort not to edit war (though I do use reverting in situations where the need is clear). As far as I know, I haven't done anything else wrong either.

The nearest I got to doing anything wrong, was my saying that Raul654 abused his powers. I did view Raul654's protection of the page (ownership of the page through the use of admin powers), as unethical. It was a situation which I'd never encountered before, and my stand against it was an ethical one, which I cannot take back. If Raul or anyone else had bothered to explain things to me in the beginning, things would have been different. Instead, they let me go on thinking that there was nothing special or different about that page- and thus that my views concerning Raul654's behavior were totally justified.

Well, I can't lie to you: I still think so, because Raul protected a page where, as he says below, he "had [a] run in" with me, and I think that is a clear abuse. He also went against the decision and consensus of the other arbitrators, saying "Fortunately, this page is not a democracy." He based his editing on his own opinion about the subject. I was very upset about it.

But I also did some wrong things on that page, like removing a section to the talk page. Mostly, I did things wrongly because I didn't really notice the page's special status, and partly because my own feeling about abuses of power is different from that of other people: so it may not have been appropriate for Wikipedia. I didn't know Raul had been asked by other editors to oversee the page (never heard of that before), but even so I'm not so sure it is a good idea for an admin to protect a page when he sees it going against his POV.

But, I admire Raul for recusing himself from this ArbCom case: he is obviously not without ethics.

——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 20:51, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Wikidudeman[edit]

I am hereby officially involving myself in this request for arbitration. I can personally attest to everything that has been said by Raul654, ScienceApologist, MastCell, et al. Martinphi's contributions stretching all of the way back to his beginnings here have been extremely disruptive. Martinphi has a very long history of disruptive editing, not assuming good faith, attacking other editors, hijacking attempts to reach consensus, and disrupting the encyclopedia to make a point. A RFC was brought up concerning this editors actions as far back as 6 months ago:Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Martinphi where 19 of his fellow editors endorsed the aforementioned facts. Martinphi has also been shown to use sockpuppets:Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Martinphi, to advance his positions. Just recently one notable incident occurred where Martinphi completely shunned AGF, despite my numerous notes to him, and accused Raul654 of "abusing" his admin powers:link. These are only a few of the numerous disruptive incidents that this editor is responsible for and I will bring dozens of more examples forth as evidence against this user once I have gathered all of the differences and instances. I have edited articles alongside this editor for perhaps over a year and I can attest to the facts. This user is highly disruptive, pushes POVs at all costs, shuns long held wikipedia policies such as AGF, POINT as well as many others. Wikidudeman (talk) 02:31, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Statement concerning compliments toward Martinphi[edit]

Some editors are posting compliments I made toward Martinphi as evidence of something, I'm not sure what. The compliments that I made towards Martinphi stating that it is "possible" to work things out with him was simply a fact of my naivety. Two months ago I stated to another editor that it was "Possible" to work things out with him, however I have since been proven totally wrong in my assessment. As far as awarding him a Barnstar goes, I frequently award all users who participate in my rewrite projects barnstars regardless of the input they provided whether helpful or not. I will admit that Martinphi did assist somewhat in rewriting the Parapsychology article, but of course even this didn't go without him later stating that I "censored" him during the whole process. Wikidudeman (talk) 00:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Statement by Antelan[edit]

Martinphi lacks a necessary minimum amount of objectivity, and he lacks insight into his shortcomings as an editor here. I say that Martinphi lacks objectivity because he applies rules differently depending on how they might impact Wikipedia's presentation of his POV. In doing so, he uses personal reinterpretations of the principles of NPOV, COI, civility, and consensus in order to further his own goals, not the encyclopedia's. I say that Martinphi lacks insight because, on the occasions when he is wrong, he generally fails to understand why he is wrong, or even how he could be. Instead of moving towards neutrality, he twists previous ArbCom decisions to shift neutrality towards his position. Instead of attempting civil discourse with new editors who attempt to improve articles that they see as biased, he rebukes them quickly and harshly enough that many avoid improving his articles. Instead of working towards consensus, he maintains that the status quo is a consensus when it suits him; when it does not suit him, he manages to find non-neutrality in places I never thought possible - even, for example, in the word order of an opening paragraph. He presumes that those who disagree with his POV, including Wikipedia Arbitrators, are "inexperienced editor(s) with a POV", a legendary testament to his assumptions of good faith and ability to achieve neutrality as an editor. Finally, Martinphi utilizes bluster, in the form of inaccurate, misleading, and even false edit summaries, claims on talk pages, and statements within this Arbitration itself. This approach gives many of his claims the veneer of validity, until one actually reads the diffs and discussions to discover that his characterizations are often skewed reinterpretations of reality.

Because of Martinphi's poor insight into his shortcomings, as evidenced by his extensive rationalization and reinterpretation of his misbehavior (and a lack of improvement in behavior since his RfC and the Paranormal arbitration), I believe that an actual remedy, not simply a request that Martinphi change his ways, must be found in this Arbitration.

Martinphi has his apologists, but in general they argue not that he is right, only that others are wrong, too. This may be so, but this is not a reason to allow Martinphi to continue with his behavior that is so disruptive to this encyclopedia and its editors.

Antelan talk 01:22, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (4/0/1/0)[edit]

  • Recuse. I had an earlier run in with Martinphi. I can attest that what ScienceApologist says is 100% true - Martinphi's behavior is seriously problematic, and I encourage other arbitrators to take this case. Raul654 02:07, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. Kirill 02:14, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept Fred Bauder 18:46, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. FloNight♥♥♥ 20:22, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Accept. James F. (talk) 22:39, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

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


Wikipedia is not a battleground[edit]

1) Wikipedia is a reference work. Use of the site for political or ideological struggle accompanied by harassment of opponents is extremely disruptive.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a soapbox[edit]

2) Wikipedia is not a soapbox for propaganda or activist editing.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


3) Wikipedia works by building consensus through the use of polite discussion. The dispute resolution process is designed to assist consensus-building when normal talk page communication has not worked. Sustained edit-warring is not an appropriate method of resolving disputes, and is wasteful of resources and destructive to morale.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Neutral point of view[edit]

4) The neutral point of view requires fair representation of all significant points of view regarding a subject.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Role of the Arbitration Committee[edit]

5) It is not the role of the Arbitration Committee to settle good-faith content disputes among editors.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


6) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably and calmly in their dealings with other users. Insulting and intimidating other users harms the community by creating a hostile environment. Personal attacks are not acceptable.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


7) The use of sockpuppet accounts, while not generally forbidden, is discouraged. Abuse of sockpuppet accounts, such as using them to evade blocks, bans, and user accountability–and especially to make personal attacks or reverts, or vandalize–is strictly forbidden.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Tu quoque[edit]

8) Wikipedia editors are expected to adhere to policy regardless of the behavior of those they are in disputes with; inappropriate behavior by others does not legitimize one's own.

Passed 5 to 1, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

Locus of dispute[edit]

1) This dispute is a continuation of the general disputes regarding paranormal-related topics first examined by the "Paranormal" case.

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


2) Martinphi (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in a variety of disruptive behavior ([5]), including, but not limited to, using Wikipedia as a soapbox ([6], [7]), threatening disruption of the project ([8]), and making deliberately provocative edits ([9], [10]).

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


3) ScienceApologist (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in incivility, assumptions of bad faith, and personal attacks ([11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]), as well as abusive sockpuppetry ([17]).

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (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.

Martinphi restricted[edit]

1) Martinphi (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is subject to an editing restriction for one year. Should they make any edits which are judged by an administrator to be disruptive, they may be banned from any affected page or set of pages. The ban will take effect once a notice has been posted on their talk page by the administrator and properly logged. Should they violate this ban, they may be blocked for the duration specified in the enforcement ruling below.

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

ScienceApologist restricted[edit]

2) ScienceApologist (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is subject to an editing restriction for one year. Should they make any edits which are judged by an administrator to be uncivil, personal attacks, or assumptions of bad faith, they may be blocked for the duration specified in the enforcement ruling below.

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

ScienceApologist limited to one account[edit]

3) ScienceApologist (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is limited to using one and only one account to edit. They are to inform the Committee of the account they have selected, and must obtain the Committee's approval if they wish to begin using a different account.

Passed 6 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Discretionary sanctions[edit]

4)Any uninvolved administrator may, on his or her own discretion, impose sanctions on any editor working in the area of conflict (defined as articles which relate to pseudoscience, broadly interpreted) if, despite being warned, that editor repeatedly or seriously fails to adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, any expected standards of behavior, or any normal editorial process. The sanctions imposed may include blocks of up to one year in length; bans from editing any page or set of pages within the area of conflict; bans on any editing related to the topic or its closely related topics; restrictions on reverts or other specified behaviors; or any other measures which the imposing administrator believes are reasonably necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the project.

Prior to any sanctions being imposed, the editor in question shall be given a warning with a link to this decision by an uninvolved administrator; and, where appropriate, should be counseled on specific steps that he or she can take to improve his or her editing in accordance with relevant policies and guidelines.

In determining whether to impose sanctions on a given user and which sanctions to impose, administrators should use their judgment and balance the need to assume good faith and avoid biting genuinely inexperienced editors, and the desire to allow responsible contributors maximum freedom to edit, with the need to reduce edit-warring and misuse of Wikipedia as a battleground, so as to create an acceptable collaborative editing environment even on our most contentious articles. Editors wishing to edit in these areas are advised to edit carefully, to adopt Wikipedia's communal approaches (including appropriate conduct, dispute resolution, neutral point of view, no original research and verifiability) in their editing, and to amend behaviors that are deemed to be of concern by administrators. An editor unable or unwilling to do so may wish to restrict their editing to other topics, in order to avoid sanctions.


Sanctions imposed under the provisions of this decision may be appealed to the imposing administrator, the appropriate administrators' noticeboard (currently Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement), or the Committee. Administrators are cautioned not to reverse such sanctions without familiarizing themselves with the full facts of the matter and engaging in extensive discussion and consensus-building at the administrators' noticeboard or another suitable on-wiki venue. The Committee will consider appropriate remedies including suspension or revocation of adminship in the event of violations.

Uninvolved administrators

For the purpose of imposing sanctions under this provision, an administrator will be considered "uninvolved" if he or she is not engaged in a current, direct, personal conflict on the topic with the user receiving sanctions. Enforcing the provisions of this decision will not be considered to be participation in a dispute. Any doubt regarding whether an administrator qualifies under this definition is to be treated as any other appeal of sanctions.


All sanctions imposed under the provisions of this decision are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Martinphi-ScienceApologist#Log of blocks and bans.

Other provisions

This provision does not affect any existing provisions of the case.

Passed 7-2-0 by motion, 01:56, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Superseded by an alternate sanction, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Standard discretionary sanctions[edit]

5) Articles relating to pseudoscience, broadly interpreted, are placed under discretionary sanctions. Any uninvolved administrator may levy restrictions as an arbitration enforcement action on users editing in this topic area, after an initial warning.

Passed 14 to 0 by motion, 14:32, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Moved by motion to Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Pseudoscience#Discretionary_sanctions.


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.

Restrictions on enforcement[edit]

2) No administrator identifying as a member of WikiProject Paranormal or WikiProject Rational Skepticism shall enforce any remedy imposed by this decision.

Passed 5 to 0, 18:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Log of notifications[edit]

All notifications are to be logged at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pseudoscience#Notification logs.

Log of blocks and bans[edit]

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.