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Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment

Requests for clarification and amendment

Clarification request: Palestine-Israel articles

Closed and archived. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 23:19, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Initiated by Zero0000 at 17:15, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Palestine-Israel articles arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

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 Zero0000

In accordance with the ARBPIA General Sanctions, non-extended-confirmed editors are permitted to edit talk pages of ARBPIA articles under certain conditions. However, "This exception does not apply to other internal project discussions such as AfDs, WikiProjects, RfCs, noticeboard discussions, etc.". My question is: Is a formal move proposal, as made using the {{requested move}} template, an example of "other internal project discussions"?

My opinion is that a move proposal is very similar to an RfC and so should be treated the same.

Thanks for your time. Zerotalk 17:15, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

To Bradv: I think your interpretation of "content" is narrower than intended. The very fact that the rules for talk space editing, AfDs, etc, are called "exceptions" proves that "content" is intended to include them. I believe that "content" just means "all content" in the ordinary English sense and it isn't a specific reference to article space. Zerotalk 04:14, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Also, there is nothing to stop non-ECs from discussing the topic of an on-going RfC on the talk page; they are only prohibited from taking part in the RfC itself. I believe this is important because of the number of new accounts or IPs that come out of nowhere just to "vote" in RfCs. I expect that a large fraction are socks, people editing while logged out, or people responding to off-wiki canvassing. Zerotalk 05:04, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by selfstudier

The question came up here, I thought RM is not allowed and at first @El C: thought it was OK and then decided it wasn't. Perhaps it should be made clear that it is not allowed (in practice, it is similar to an RFC).Selfstudier (talk) 18:10, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My Ken

I see RMs as being very similar to RfCs in nature, so my feeling is that if RfCs are disallowed, RMs should be as well. The question of how to title an article is, after all, an "internal project discussion". Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:46, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Can I Log In

I've been following this clarification request since the beginning, and it seems like bradv pointed out interesting information that the 500/30 restriction applies to editing content only. So as worded, non-500/30 users may participate in "other internal project discussions".

Now let's look at WP:ARBPIA3, finding of fact No. 3

3) The Palestine-Israel topic area has been continuously plagued by sockpuppetry. (Kingsindian's Evidence)

Passed 11 to 0 at 15:21, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Okay, that was from ~4.5 years ago, but when you consider this to be a long-term problem, it's likely that the problem persist.

So with this underlying fact and intention/principle, I think that the 500/30 restriction does apply to RM as well as other internal project or vote-like discussions in any ArbCom/community areas of conflict. Sockpuppetry is small, but when discovered, is huge. 01:00, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Narky Blert

There is a general legal principle that exceptions are to be construed narrowly. This is to provide legal certainty to people who might be affected. The topic in question is an exception to an exception, and the same principles apply.

I find the wording "such as AfDs, WikiProjects, RfCs, noticeboard discussions, etc." unclear. What are its boundaries? I suggest that "such as" be replaced by "including but not limited to".

In the case at hand, I consider that a WP:RM is of the same nature as the things already listed, and should be explicitly mentioned. Narky Blert (talk) 09:30, 12 July 2020 (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.

Palestine-Israel articles: Clerk notes

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

Palestine-Israel articles: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • My understanding of that clause is that "other internal discussions" refers to discussions that take place in locations other than the talk page of an article. Requested move discussions, as with other talk page discussions, can be managed by the methods listed in paragraph b, but only when disruption occurs. – bradv🍁 15:25, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
    GorillaWarfare, my understanding is that non-extended-confirmed editors are permitted to edit talk pages and other discussions, "provided they are not disruptive". They are only prohibited from editing the articles themselves. So they can contribute to RMs and RfCs, but if they are disruptive they can be banned from the talk page, but not from other internal discussions. – bradv🍁 16:30, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
    I suppose there's another interpretation of the General Sanctions that says that non-edit-confirmed editors are prohibited from participating in "other internal discussions". Perhaps someone can clarify the intent of the word "exception" in paragraph B-1, as I might be confused. – bradv🍁 17:25, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
    Follow up, having read this more carefully:
    ARBPIA General Sanctions, as currently worded, only applies the 500/30 prohibition to "editing content". There is an exception (extension?) to apply that rule to talk pages in the case of disruption, but that clause does not apply to "internal project discussions".
    As worded, this restriction does not prohibit new editors from participating in RMs, RfC, AfDs, or any other internal discussions, as they are not "editing content". If that was not the intent of the motion, it should be reworded. – bradv🍁 14:09, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm a little split on this one, given that they are very similar to RfCs. As to Bradv's point about discussions happening away from the talk page, RfCs fairly often happen on the articles' talk pages and my understanding is that non-30/500 users are not allowed to participate then either (though please correct me if I'm wrong—my particular editing interests do not take me into the area of Palestine-Israel articles very often). GorillaWarfare (talk) 16:05, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
    I don't think I agree with Bradv's interpretation of "editing content"—I don't think "content" is meant to refer to "article content", but rather is just a vague term to refer to any editing. I agree with my other colleagues that RMs would seem to be prohibited, as are RfCs. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:13, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I think the prohibition applies here, they're similar both to RfCCs, and AfDs; a title move in this area can be very consequential, and tend to be disruptive. DGG ( talk ) 17:12, 22 June 2020 (UTC) .
  • In the interests of a conservative reading to avoid disruption and the problems with the topic area, I'd agree that the prohibition would apply. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 18:06, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I see where bradv is coming from and I agree that interpreting that exception it seems to be limited to discussions that are about more than just a single page even with the "RfCs" wedged in there. Moves can be controversial, yes, but so can changes in content. It makes no sense to say "You are allowed to argue for the change of everything but the name is off limits". Consequently, I would argue that the "RfCs" reverse-exception currently does not cover RfCs that are limited to the page in question and are held on the talk page because those RfCs do not fit the "internal discussions" definition (unlike AFDs, WikiProjects etc.). To take another example: WP:DAILYMAILRFC was an "internal discussion" because it was about whether to qualify a newspaper as a reliable source. The RfC held at Talk:Daily Mail/Archive 5#RfC on adding substantial number of lawsuits was not an "internal discussion" because it was only about what to include in this specific article. Regards SoWhy 08:03, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
  • To me a Requested Move is short hand for Request for Comment on a Move. Seems fairly obvious that the rules should be the same WormTT(talk) 17:28, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I can't see how an RM discussion isn't an "internal project discussion." If that's the only question here that would be my answer. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:22, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Uphold prohibition/ restrictions in this case. Seems just as contentious as warring over content. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:02, 3 July 2020 (UTC)

Amendment request: India-Pakistan

Closed and archived. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 23:27, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Initiated by Shashank5988 at 16:53, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/India-Pakistan
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. AE Appeal of Mar4d

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
  • Appeal's result should be overturned

Statement by Shashank5988

As WP:ARE comes under the jurisdiction of Arbcom and Arbcom has the authority to overturn and/or modify any of the enforcement made on WP:ARE, I am bringing to your attention a case related to a topic ban appeal by User:Mar4d at the above-mentioned board, in which the evidence of a number of violations was not taken into consideration while granting the appeal.

It is important at the outset that I clarify that there are no issues with the closing admin's closure, as he merely carried out the agreement amongst administrators.[1]

However the problems, which are major in nature, pertain to the way the appeal was handled, which I deem to be not in consonance with the relevant Wikipedia guidelines and policies. I shall enumerate them below:

  • To begin with, the very first sentence of the user's appeal was not borne out by facts. It read, and I quote: "I would like to humbly appeal for lifting a topic ban restriction which dates back to May 2018. The restriction in question was applied collectively amongst at least nine other editors at the time, with the option to appeal in 6 months' time, which I did not choose to exercise until now."[2] (emphasis mine) The veracity of this statement was never tested or questioned and the user was taken at his words despite there was a glaring prevarication in what he stated because Mar4d was amongst the users who had collectively appealed their sanctions to Arbcom on WP:ARCA,[3] and was notified of the subsequent rejection thereof.[4] This revelation was never made in the appeal and the user thereby committed open perfidy; the failure of the admins to see through this betrayed a lack of due diligence on their part.
  • Several instances of unambiguous topic ban violations, misrepresentation of sources while adding text to articles committed by the user were bought to the attention at AE, none of which were addressed by the admins who took part in evaluating the appeal.
Recent topic ban violations and source misrepresentation as presented on AE
Note that the topic ban concerns "conflict between India and Pakistan, broadly construed" and "any further disruption or testing of the edges of the topic ban are likely to be met with either an indefinite IPA topic ban or an indefinite block".[8] WP:BROADLY is very clear in this topic ban from the beginning.
  • The very first comment under the section devoted to the "uninvolved admins" was made by RegentsPark, an involved party who commented in the aforesaid section in disregard of WP:INVOLVED, and even when the same was pointed out to them they didn't pay any heed to it and nearly all other admins who commented based their views on Regentspark's comment.[9][10]

The fact that the user deliberately omitted any mention of past appeals, and in fact denying having appealed in the past at all, coupled with a series of topic ban infringements, among other issues, and the failure of administrators to address these issues before granting the appeal makes this case ripe enough to be considered by the Arbcom. Shashank5988 (talk) 16:53, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Mar4d

@JzG: Please take a look at the closure of the said appeal dating to June 2018, of which Shashank5988 gives the impression that I was substantially involved in. Of all the editors who received the TBAN, I was the only user who didn't lodge a single statement there or verbally challenge the sanction. I could have easily chosen to get involved, but that's besides the point. Shashank5988 only got one part right, I did indeed add my name to the "List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request", and even that was a procedural edit and because the filer had left a message on my talk a week earlier. That was my only edit to the "appeal". Shashank5988's claim that I "committed open perfidy" is laughable at best. Mar4d (talk) 18:38, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Dear RegentsPark, El C, Black Kite, Bishonen, TonyBallioni, JzG, Vanamonde93 etc.: In my ten plus years of editing, I have had virtually zero direct interaction with this user (Shashank5988) across a single article, discussion, you name it, anywhere. That hasn't stopped Shashank5988 from appearing first at an ARBIPA-infested ANI thread in December 2018 to oppose me, then at my recent arbitration enforcement appeal out of nowhere, and if that wasn't enough, this fresh ARCA despite the admin who closed my AE advising them otherwise. Given this won't be the first or last time I've been frivolously hounded (to wit), I just don't understand why can't we topic ban this user already for wasting everyone's time? I hope I haven't committed blasphemy by suggesting so. I'm not even touching yet the other deliberate, obfuscating accusations. I've been largely patient, honestly. Mar4d (talk) 19:06, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
@SoWhy: Thanks for your closing view. In my comment above, I had expressed concerns regarding possible hounding from the filer. Could you advise what would be the correct course of action if this pattern were to continue in the future? Many thanks, Mar4d (talk) 16:42, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
SoWhy: Noted, thanks. Mar4d (talk) 18:15, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by RegentsPark

I don't consider myself involved re Mar4d but do apologize to Shashank5988 for not seeing their comment on the AE page (I see a ping in there, which I somehow missed, so the fault lies with me). Regardless, doubtless the other admins did look into the various allegations I see on the AE thread and made their decisions independently. I don't really see a big issue with not removing the ban from Mar4d. As I said on AE, they've complied with the spirit of the ban and we can't ask for a whole lot more from an editor. --regentspark (comment) 19:41, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by El C

I don't really have much more to add beyond my evaluation at AE. The risk of further disruption by lifting the ban seems low enough to be worthwhile. El_C 17:08, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

I don't see how some previous interactions with Mar4d make regentspark an involved party. That assertion has not been established to my satisfaction. El_C 17:33, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Black Kite that the basis for this request could be viewed as problematic. The Committee may wish to impose sanctions on the filer themselves for making a frivolous request. El_C 19:32, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Black Kite

Just a thought, but perhaps the admins at AE did actually look at the alleged "several instances of unambiguous topic ban violations (and) misrepresentation of sources while adding text to articles committed by the user" and decided that they either weren't violations or were very minor? And perhaps they did look at the claim that User:RegentsPark was WP:INVOLVED, and dismissed it? As I said at the AE, I take a very dim view of people that spend a significant amount of their time on Wikipedia trying to keep ideological opponents banned from articles, something which the filer of this (and a number of other editors in this area) have done recently - though I certainly didn't expect them to double down on it by taking up many people's time with an ARCA request as well. It suggests to me a battleground mindset rather than one that is dedicated to actually improving an encyclopedia. Black Kite (talk) 19:07, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Bishonen

Black Kite puts it so well I can only agree with every word he says. Plus a technicality: sorry, but it itches me to see RegentsPark apologising for "missing" Shashank5988's ping, when the ping wasn't correctly done and therefore didn't work.[11][12] Shashank5988, please see Help:Fixing failed pings for how to fix a faulty ping. Bishonen | tålk 21:41, 22 June 2020 (UTC).

Statement by TonyBallioni

I’ll just say what I said on my talk page: I don’t think there are any procedures allowing the committee to overturn a successful appeal of a discretionary sanction if there’s actually consensus to do so (I guess I could see it if the closing admin badly misread, but this was unanimous.)
On the merits, this was an older sanction and there was consensus to lift it to give them another chance. I’m typically very anti-ROPE and think any argument that relies on it is usually a bad argument, but here we had a user who was generally constructive and demonstrated that the potential benefits outweighed the known risks. That’s my standard, which I think was met here. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:09, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by JzG

Surely the simplest thing is to let matters stand, and move for another ban should Mar4d resume disruptive editing in this area? If Mar4d is as deceptive as Shashank5988 says, surely they will be back at this board in short order, with past sanctions being taken into account. Guy (help!) 17:07, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Mar4d@ note the word "if" in the above ;-) Guy (help!) 20:59, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Ivanvector

The original topic ban should be extended to Shashank5988 for this bad-faith request, which has no purpose other than to harass someone they perceive as an ideological opponent. What else could possibly be the point of this admin-shopping request? We have ARBIPA DS and WP:GS/IPAK general sanctions to stamp out exactly this sort of drama-mongering and battleground behaviour, which has plagued this highly contentious topic area for years and years; we should use the tools available to us here. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 00:28, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Guerillero

Arbcom could theoretically impose the same exact sanction as the one lifted at AE as a sua sponte action of the committee, but that is the only way, under the current procedures, that a lifted sanction by a consensus of AE admins can be reversed by the committee. --Guerillero | Parlez Moi 17:17, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Nosebagbear

This is already heading the general way I agree with, so I just want to make a more specific aspect: I question whether ARBCOM have the right to overturn appeals made on the grounds of misapplied factual judgements, as opposed to incorrect cited policy or a poor close. Still, that aside, I would generally say that ARBCOM not only should lead most judgements to AE but a higher limit must be reached before they start overturning successful appeals than either overturning blocks or unsuccessful appeals. That's somewhat on a reading of the applicable appeal policy but also on a sense of balance. The arb comments seem to suggest that it's hardly a bizarre viewpoint. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:17, 2 July 2020 (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.

India-Pakistan: Clerk notes

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

India-Pakistan: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • I trust the consensus of the five very experienced AE admins who reviewed the appeal. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:44, 22 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Decline. There is nothing to clarify or amend here. While I do not think ArbCom is completely barred from overruling AE as an ultima ratio, the whole system is designed to not have ArbCom interfere in the day to day operations. There is no evidence presented that was not already mentioned (and rejected) at the AE that would require us to step in and revert the consensus of these very experienced admins to lift the restrictions. Plus, as Guy mentions, lifting a topic ban does not mean it cannot be reimposed swiftly if the editor in question again displays the kind of behavior that lead to the first ban. Regards SoWhy 07:21, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
    @Mar4d: If you believe there is a conduct issue, WP:CONDUCTDISPUTE outlines the possible steps to address this. As a last resort, you can request arbitration. Regards SoWhy 17:06, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't see a reason for ArbCom to get involved. The appeal got plenty of attention. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:23, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
  • If there was some indication that the appeal was mishandled, it might make sense for us to review it, but with multiple experienced admins reviewing the appeal in detail I see no reason for us to step in. GorillaWarfare (talk) 17:15, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm seeing this as falling within the admins bounds for decision. Decline. WormTT(talk) 17:29, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
  • There would have to be a very compelling reason for us to overturn a consensus from AE, and I'm just not seeing it here. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:11, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Clarification request: Brahma Kumaris

Initiated by BlackcurrantTea at 07:13, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
Brahma Kumaris arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)

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 BlackcurrantTea

One of the remedies in this case was that Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, since renamed Brahma Kumaris, was placed on article probation. A notice was added to the talk page.

Article probation is now obsolete. I've recently replaced notices on other talk pages with {{Ds/talk notice}}. These notices require a decision code (topic= ) for the associated case, and there isn't one listed for Brahma Kumaris in the template documentation. I haven't found any indication that the sanctions have been lifted; however, the case is from 2007 and my search may have missed it.

Have the sanctions been lifted, or do they remain in effect? If they remain in effect, the notice should be replaced by a new discretionary sanctions template; if the sanctions have been lifted, the article probation notice should be removed.

I don't think the article needs ArbCom-level sanctions. I looked at edits from the last three years, and the community has been able to handle the disruptive editing that's occurred. Ravensfire has regularly reverted non-neutral and unsourced changes to the article, and I've left a note on their talk page mentioning this request for clarification should they wish to express their opinion.

Although the pace of editing has increased slightly since the beginning of the year, in the last five years it's been less than a tenth of what it was in 2007 at the time of the case. The article has only had protection added once during that time, for two weeks in 2015. Were Brahma Kumaris brought up at a noticeboard right now as needing some form of attention, it's unlikely that it would get anything more than a few people adding it to their watchlists, if that.

I found Brahma Kumaris and other articles which still had the probation template by using Special:WhatLinksHere/Wikipedia:Article probation. It looks like there are a few other pages left with different notices, e.g. Talk:Naked short selling#Article probation, and more with a section like Talk:The Masked Avengers' prank on Sarah Palin#Article probation that refer to a now-archived subpage. I've only taken a quick look at those.

Statement by Ravensfire

I've had the article on my watchlist for a bit but really only revert the obvious POV edit from one side or the other. It's pretty rare at this point to see edits to the article. I think the restrictions did their job and it's time to retire them. If something starts up again, I think there are adequate resources available to handle most problems. Ravensfire (talk) 04:27, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Statement by L235

My thanks to BlackcurrantTea for bringing this up and for looking through the list of active restrictions. If anything else comes up, this would be a good time to get the housekeeping out of the way. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 23:33, 12 July 2020 (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.

Brahma Kumaris: Clerk notes

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

Brahma Kumaris: Arbitrator views and discussion

  • This arbitration case was decided more than 13 years ago and none of the current arbitrators will be familiar with it. It is so long ago that our occasional reviews of old discretionary sanctions will have missed it, because it predated the change in terminology. At this point, are there current problems with editing of the article that warrant having ArbCom-level sanctions in place? Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:03, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Given how long article probation has been obsolete, and that this is only coming up now, my feeling is that discretionary sanctions are probably not needed here. However I'm open to input from those active in the topic area if they feel differently. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:08, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
  • A quick review of the article's editing history does not reveal any problems that would require ArbCom-level sanctions and I cannot find any (recent) entries for this case in either the log or AE (the last time enforcement was requested based on this case was in 2010 (incidentally by now-arb Beeblebrox)). As such, I support formally rescinding the remedies of this case (at least the article probation, although the ban on the 195-IP probably is worthless after 13 years as well). Regards SoWhy 07:20, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I thought this sounded vaguely familiar but I couldn't remember why. If that was the last time this was even brought up I have to agree, we probably don't need it. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:28, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Motion: Brahma Kumaris

Remedy 3 of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Brahma Kumaris, "article probation", is hereby terminated.
For this motion there are 13 active arbitrators, not counting 1 who is inactive, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.

  1. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:37, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  2. SoWhy 15:49, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  3. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:57, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  4. GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:59, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Copyedited, hopefully non-controversially, to substitute "terminated" (meaning "it's ended as of now") for "rescinded" (which could be read to mean "it was never good," although we haven't always used it that way). Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:57, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Plus "terminated" just sounds cooler. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:29, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Are there other stragglers like this that were missed in the DS cleanup? GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:59, 11 July 2020 (UTC)