Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment

Requests for clarification and amendmentEdit

Amendment request: American politics 2Edit

Initiated by Interstellarity at 19:46, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
American politics 2 arbitration case (t) (ev / t) (w / t) (pd / t)
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)


List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request
Information about amendment request
  • Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)
  • Change the sanctions to affect American politics to a later date. I recommend 1944, but I am open to other interpretations.

Statement by InterstellarityEdit

It's been over five years since the ammendment to set sanctions on post-1932 American politics went in place. When we look at historical events from a distant future, we can get a better idea on how the event affected history. I am not requesting to repeal these sanctions, I am requesting that the sanction be lowered to something like 1944. It is easier to write an article on a president such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln then someone like Donald Trump or Joe Biden because the news can be too biased to get the big picture. I imagine the news was also biased back then, but we have modern historical evaluations on the event that help us to write better articles. That's how I feel about this in a nutshell. Interstellarity (talk) 19:46, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:313A (talk)Edit

1932 really is still the beginning of contemporary US politics. It is when FDR was first elected, and FDR's policy approaches are still a political battleground in the present day. William Leuchtenburg's book In the Shadow of FDR traces FDR's influence through all the subsequent US presidents up to Obama (in the 2009 edition). I read it for a school requirement and found it enlightening. If there is good cause to restrict someone from editing about post-FDR US politics, they probably shouldn't be editing about the FDR era either. The stuff that happened then is still contentious in today's partisan battlegrounds. 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:313A (talk) 13:43, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by GeogeneEdit

I think any cutoff year you choose will potentially be debatable. But is the current 1932 cutoff already causing problems that need to be addressed? If so, this request would be more compelling with evidence and examples of those problems. Geogene (talk) 18:00, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Black KiteEdit

I don't think I've ever processed an AP2 dispute or sanction where the locus of dispute was something that happened between 1932 and 1944 (indeed the vast majority are centred on current issues). That's not to say they don't exist, but I think I'd like to see the diffs before changing the cutoff date. Black Kite (talk) 19:07, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by DwellerEdit

Echoing Black Kite to an extent, I'm eager to see what are the loci of dispute now, but I'll go further. This is incredibly broad brush and doesn't feel like a good measure at all. Having briefly looked into the morass of the case that prompted it, I'm wondering if Arbcom at the time were both rather exasperated and reluctant to issue a huge swathe of personal sanctions. Anyway, that's speculation. More to the point, I feel this measure is bad for Wikipedia. --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 19:14, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by Ymblanter (American politics 2)Edit

All sanctions (theoretically) must be recorded in the log at WP:ACDSLOG. For 2020, I see there only two articles which relate to something else than post-1990 politics: Frank Rizzo which I have protected myself (and this is the only time I remember involving AP2 for not contemporary politics, and I am not shy in imposing AE sanctions), and Three Red Banners which is probably there in error (I do not see how it is related to AP2). In any case, both articles are post-1950.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:33, 25 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by power~enwikiEdit

I support changing this, to some date not after 1992. From a quick glance, with the one exception Ymblanter noted, the oldest topic I found discussed in the sanctions log was Vince Foster. The vast majority of American Politics issues relate to current events, but the Clintons are still regularly the subject of contentious discussion. There was a preference for a wide buffer region in the original imposition of AP2 to avoid doubt in marginal cases; I think either 1960 or 1980 would be reasonable choices. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:09, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

I think it's a stretch to say that Vince Foster would be covered under post-2010 American Politics; we don't have "broadly construed" here and he died in 1993. Sure, Trump talked about him, but having the sanctions be "everything Trump talks about" seems like the wrong way to include topics in the sanctions; in that case rather than a year we might as well just say "current". power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:00, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
I will comment on any RFC, but the difference between 1980/1988/1992 doesn't seem important enough to justify one. OK, if several ARBCOM members feel 1932/1944 or even 1960 is the right year, do an RFC, but if the exact post-Nixon and pre-Clinton year is the issue, I encourage ARBCOM to hash it out amongst yourselves. power~enwiki (π, ν) 06:52, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My KenEdit

The difference between starting in 1932 and starting in 1944 is that the period from 1932 to 1944 featured FDR and the New Deal, isolationism regarding involvement in World War II, the attempt at Supreme Court packing, the American Nazi movement and the anti-Nazi boycotts -- all of which have tendrils which connect them to current American politics. Is MAGA isolationism re-born? Will the Democrats attempt to counter Trump's Supreme Court nominations by packing the court? Is the alt-right the re-birth of an American fascist movement? What do we do about the newly powerful populist movement in Europe? How involved should the US government be in controlling the effects of capitalism? These questions are all intimately connected to what happened from 1932 to 1944, which argues against changing the starting point. 1932 does not seem to me to be an arbitrary choice, but the actual beginning of modern American politics. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:56, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

Whereas it's arguable that 1944 (1945, really) is the start of the post-war international structure (the UN, NATO, World Bank, IMF etc.), so it would make sense for a discretionary sanctions regime which was concerned with modern international geo-politics. It doesn't really make all the much sense as a starting point for American politics, though. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:15, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
Eggishorn's data is interesting. I would only suggest that if the start date is moved up, admins take note of disputes and disruption which would have been covered if the date hadn't been adjusted, if any. I still don't see any real harm in leaving the start date where it is, though, under the rubric "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:56, 3 January 2021 (UTC)
Per "range of choices", leaving it at 1932 should not be forgotten. I agree that an RfC should be held before an ArbCom motion, as a content matter. Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:22, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by NosebagbearEdit

I'm concerned by people stating that Interstellarity should be providing cases of 1932-1944 that this clarification would resolve. Quite the opposite - everyone else should be being required to provide cases that demonstrate that that set of years should also be covered by DS. It's supposed to cover the minimum possible to avoid issues. I actually think a good case could be made for moving it up to, say, the start of the Vietnam war, and if we're happy to have a discussion on that, that's great, but for the meantime, I'm a strong supporter. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:29, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Following up, since there is now some numerical data and much more arb discussion, I would say my preference would now be 1989 onwards/post-1988 (as first choice). I'm not sure a full RfC is beneficial, but NYB's suggestion of holding up voting for a week and just asking at various community boards for comments would also serve well. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:38, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by EggishornEdit

I think everyone is agreed that the cutoff of 1932 is arbitrary and that any year that the ArbCom of the time picked would necessarily be arbitrary. Any other date would also be arbitrary but need not be equally arbitrary; i.e., there may be less arbitrary dates available. It is clear from the AP2 Proposed Decision that the ArbCom of the time picked 1932 for no there reason than it was somewhere between the extremes of 1980 (too recent) and all of American history (too far back). If anything, this is a good demonstration of how the Goldilocks principle can guide rational people to suboptimal results. Neither the AP nor the AP2 cases involved anything that reached anywhere near as far back as 1932 and Ymblanter and power~enwiki have already demonstrated that the topics that AP2 sanctions have been invoked for are also recent. Beyond My Ken makes a cogent argument that there is ideological continuity of issues from the Roosevelt presidency era to issues of great controversy today but that is not a reason to keep the 1932 date. If we were to accept the continuity of ideologies argument, then the same issues that FDR faced were faced in recognizable form by his cousin Theodore and that these issues have ideological continuity all the way back to Jacksonian democracy and even to Jeffersonianism and Federalism. The committee implicitly rejected this approach since that would have turned the AP2 discretionary sanctions into American History discretionary sanctions. I think that any argument to keep the 1932 cutoff has to substantiate 1932-present as the narrowest possible range to prevent significant disruption. The record at hand does not present any evidence of this being the case. If anything, it shows that 1932 is far too broad and that this violates the principle that sanctions and restrictions should allow the greatest freedom of editing. WP:5P3 still has some purpose here, after all. The ArbCom of the time picked 1932 not through detailed inquiry of the best cutoff but through what seems like expediency and abundance of caution. The ArbCom of today has the benefit of a record that shows the 1932 date was overbroad and can pick a date that better matches the evidence shown. Looking through the sanctions log for this year and last, it is difficult to find anything even post-2000, never mind after the 1980 date the original ArbCom felt was too recent. Please consider moving the date forward significantly, to at least 1988 (the George H. W. Bush v. Michael Dukakis presidential election). This date would be a better fit for the evidence of disruption that is available and also match BMK's ideological continuity of issues argument while being closer to the idealized least restrictive option and therefore be less arbitrary than 1932. Thank you. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:46, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Analysis of AP2 sanctionsEdit

At the implicit invitation of Barkeep49's request for better data and because I'm seeing dates picked based on what looks like speculation of what might or could happen, I thought it necessary to present what has happened under the current regime. Debates, however fierce, in the wider society that are not directly reflected in on-wiki disruption should not be the basis for sanctions. Therefore, the record of sanctions was searched for on-wiki disruption and correlated to the time period that the disruption was directly linked to.

Extended Content
MethodologyEdit

The Arbitration enforcement log was examined for blocks, bans, and other editor sanctions placed by administrators from 2016 to 2020 under the authority of the discretionary sanctions authorized by the Arbitration Committee as a result of the American Politics 2 arbitration case. Only restrictions placed on editors were counted, not those on articles. Each sanction as a separate action is counted separately. If an editor was given an edit restriction or topic ban, then violated that and was blocked, then returned and violated it again and was banned, those three separate events are are counted three times. If an editor was blocked or topic banned for violating AP2 restrictions based on multiple edits reported to WP:AE (including, in one notable case, 71 edits) then that one event is counted once.

Community bans are not counted, even if they were related to American politics articles, because those actions are taken under the community's authority and not the committee's. ArbCom bans were included if explicitly invoked under the American Politics 2 case or subsequent motions. Warnings are not counted as sanctions, even if the DS was invoked as a basis for the warning, because warnings do not have the effect of restricting edits through the wiki software. Probations or other irregular and custom sanctions are treated as warnings and so also not counted for the same reason.

Topic bans lifted upon appeal are not counted as sanctions. Topic bans that resulted in a block but which were lifted on appeal were counted as a sanction if the block took place before the ban was lifted. There were a small number of users blocked, unblocked, and reblocked under these sanctions. If the individual blocks were triggered by different edits or there were "new" edits that were significant evidence for further sanctions, then those were considered separate events. Rejected appeals are not counted as separate sanctions.

The time periods are divided by Presidential administration to break the 88 year time period covered by these discretionary sanctions into comprehensible time periods. The time period a sanction was assigned to is based on the edit or edits triggering sanctions. This results the an apparent anomaly that edits related to, e.g., Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign are counted under the "Obama" row and not the "Trump" row. This is inevitable given that each election cycle lasts at least 2 years and there are multiple contestants. Unless clearly otherwise indicated, edits concerning events that took place during the short January lame duck period were counted as sanctions under the following administration for clarity and because politics during this time period are almost entirely concerned with the incoming presidency and not the outgoing one. FDR's presidency was divided into pre-war and war years due to its length and the amendment request above.

Edits triggering sanctions that were to articles not about events (e.g., biographical articles, places, etc.) were treated as follows: If there was a source associated with the edit (either adding or removing) then the date of that source was used to categorize the edit. If the edit was not linked to a source or the source did not have a date then any identifiable event that the edit might have been connected to (e.g., the arrest of a person) was used to categorize the edit. If there was no dated source or identifiable event, then the date of the edit was used to categorize the edit on the basis that edits on political topics are more likely to be triggered by contemporary media coverage than historical coverage.

The data was compiled in a Google Sheets document available here.

ResultsEdit

The editing restrictions, blocks, and bans placed under AP2 restrictions since 2016 greatly favor the 2016-present time period and there is almost no record of AP2 sanctions for events prior to 1993.

AP2 sanctions by year and presidency
Presidential Administration 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Total
FDR pre-war 0 0 0 0 0 0
FDR war years 0 0 0 0 0 0
Truman 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eisenhower 0 0 1 0 0 1
Kennedy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Johnson 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nixon 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ford 0 0 0 0 0 0
Carter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reagan 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bush Sr. 0 0 0 0 0 0
Clinton 0 2 0 1 2 5
Bush Jr. 0 0 0 0 2 2
Obama 42 13 4 0 4 63
Trump 0 40 46 43 48 177
Total 42 55 51 44 56 248
DiscussionEdit

Of the total 248 discretionary sanctions placed in the 4 years since they were authorized under the current ArbCom remedies , 240 or 96.7% were for edits concerning events after 2016. The almost complete lack of sanctions for events in the time period from 1932 to 1988 shows that the current remedies are not currently narrowly-tailored to the actual disruption experienced on this site. Speculation that sanctions need to encompass the period before 1988 are not supported by the evidence of disruption reported. Although the methodology is believed sound, discrepancies would not change that the evidence is very clear. Even if there were massive errors in time period categorization, the evidence of disruption is clustered is so tightly to time periods after 2009 that there can be no rational argument that sanctions have been invoked to curtail actual disruption for fully 86% of the time period currently covered by the DS regime. Although page protections and similar page-level invocations of the authority granted under AP2 was not explicitly tallied, cursory investigation did not disclose results which differed significantly from the results of the editor-level sanctions and so has not been worth the time to compile. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 22:44, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

Request to the Arbs'/clerksEdit

I have to admit some confusion regarding the motions below. From my reading, it appears that two almost-exclusive motions have possibly passed, which probably means I'm interpreting the preferential votes incorrectly. Perhaps a simple form of ranked preference voting could be added? e.g., 4,3,1,2 (meaning first preference is for the 4th motion below, etc...) (This example isn't my preference or a suggestion, I just rolled a D4. Yes, I'm that geeky). I think if I'm confused, I might not be the only one. Thanks in advance. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:44, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by GuerilleroEdit

I was one of the drafting arbs for this case and can answer what was going through our heads at the time. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 20:41, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by SMcCandlishEdit

In short, I concur with Nosebagbear on burden, and with so many others here in having concerns about how sweeping these DS have been. In detail, I think this should be narrowed to 1960 onward (so it starts with JFK's presidential election campaign – there's always going to be fringe conspiracy-theory nonsense about JFK), or to an even later date, maybe starting with 1988 (George H. W. Bush's campaign), but start no later than 1992 (Bill Clinton; the Clintons are still the subject of a lot of fringe conspiracy-theory nonsense themselves).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:58, 30 December 2020 (UTC)

Statement by ProcrastinatingReaderEdit

I wouldn't comment, but some of the arb comments below seem like speculation to me. Rather than guess what years are troublesome, why not look at WP:AELOG? There's years of knowledge of how DS is actually used (minus the intimidation of templates) in that log - practically everything one needs not just for larger DS reform, but also to make evidence-based determinations in small requests like this.

At a skim, I see no page restrictions based inherently on 20th century politics. Too lazy to check the editor sanctions but I'm guessing same applies there. 1980s or even up to the Clinton era makes sense to me. It can always be changed back if this turns out to have been too restrictive. Guerillero was there a particular reason for 1932? The PD doesn't give much insight. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:29, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

I disagree that this is a content decision, and if it were then the whole thing seems to fall outside AC’s remit. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 06:58, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by SPECIFICOEdit

I am not seeing any problem with 1932. If there is no disruption between 1932 and, say, 1960, then there will be no enforcement. So why take an arrow out of Admins' quiver for 1932-1960 in case it's ever needed? Bigger picture I am not convinced the current setup is worth the trouble in American Politics. Arbcom principles are basically WP policy that Admins can enforce regardless of DS. The page restrictions in AP add little or nothing. SPECIFICO talk 00:04, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Katie, on 1933ff articles with no problem, I don't see that there are page restrictions or extra notices. For example, [1] SPECIFICO talk 15:45, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Objective3000Edit

To get to this noticeboard and create this much discussion; seems to me that a serious problem with the current arbitrary date being any more problematic than a new arbitrary date need be detailed. And, with all due respect to DGG, I won’t believe that Jan. 20 will mark a milestone in ending the current political millstones until that occurs. O3000 (talk) 01:38, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich (AP2)Edit

I'd support 1992 per Egg's data. "Anybody can edit"/"not a bureaucracy" should be the default position. Any restrictions on that should be only as broad as necessary. The data shows that before 1992 is not necessary, as there has only been one case prior to 1992, out of 248 total. Levivich harass/hound 03:17, 4 January 2021 (UTC)


It would be better for the committee to decide this here and now by motion than to take up the editor time required for an RFC. If the range of options are 1960, 1980, or 1992, I submit that it won't make a big difference which date the committee picks. If the community disagrees with the committee's decision, someone can start an RFC to overturn it. But if the committee picks a new date and everyone is fine with it, it'll save a bunch of editors a bunch of time. Setting the scope of DS is a core function that editors elect arbs to perform, so I don't think it's a stretch to say the community would trust Arbcom to change the AP2 start date without requiring an RFC. Levivich harass/hound 04:36, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by CalidumEdit

I think pushing it back to 1960 makes the most sense. Keeping it at 1960 rather than 1980 ensures that Vietnam and Watergate would remain under the scope, among other topics. 1980 would be the furthest I would go, because anything later would omit the Reagan years, which have always been a point of controversy. -- Calidum 15:18, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by TryptofishEdit

We should be cautious about changing the date too much. It's important to consider that, just because recent editing history may show a narrower, more recent, focus to disputes, that doesn't mean that users won't find reasons to dispute about earlier history as events unfold in the near future. There is, in particular, the likelihood of disputes over whether or not Trump represents a short-term phenomenon, or whether he is the culmination of decades of political trends. Does it go back to Nixon's southern strategy? To the Red Scare? To Jim Crow? En-Wiki faces a particular challenge in that there is a significant political movement based upon deliberate falsification of reality. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:29, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm seeing that Arbs are voting on the motions using language along the lines of using one year is OK in terms of particular political events or figures, but another year is not. Those are absolutely judgments about content, and not about the reported conduct of users, and is the wrong way to go about it. If that's the way the Committee is leaning, then you need to leave it to the community. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:00, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
Today in The New York Times, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has an opinion column in which he gives his views about what led up to the trouble in the US recently: [2]. He says in part:
"This coddling of the crazies was, at first, almost entirely cynical. When the G.O.P. began moving right in the 1970s its true agenda was mainly economic — what its leaders wanted, above all, were business deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. But the party needed more than plutocracy to win elections, so it began courting working-class whites with what amounted to thinly disguised racist appeals."
That's the 1970s. I can confidently predict that:
  1. There will be more sources saying stuff like that in the year ahead.
  2. Some en-Wiki editors will be strongly in favor of citing such material to say that present-day US politics grows out of the 1970s.
  3. Some en-Wiki editors will be strongly opposed to doing so (and just as Krugman's language is intense, so will be some of the disputes here).
I urge the Arbs to be careful not to push the date too far forward. Right now might be a particularly inopportune time to make big changes in procedures about content concerning current US politics, because things in the real world are so very, very unsettled. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:32, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by AquillionEdit

While I definitely think the date could be changed, I'd be cautious about relying exclusively on data about existing disruption or sanctions; one thing to worry about is that if the cut-off is too recent, users topic-banned or restricted in the AP2 area might just shift to disrupting articles somewhat earlier in the timeline. Also, having the restrictions be "intuitive" is absolutely valuable to both editors and administrators - they should be able to guess at a glance whether something falls under it. Based on this I strenuously oppose 1988, which is utterly arbitrary and has no special meaning or relevance to the topic area - if we're going to change the scope, 1980 is a much more significant date and will be far more intuitive. The restriction shouldn't be drastically broader than necessary, sure; but it should also be logical and shouldn't leave things outside its scope that are plainly connected in a single topic area. --Aquillion (talk) 15:15, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by ValereeeEdit

From Eggishorn's analysis, 1992 is the issue and almost nothing before that is causing a problem. I almost think it could be 2000 with only a very few concerns before that. And, wow. That is an amazing look at American politics. Someone needs to write a scholarly paper using that analysis. —valereee (talk) 21:25, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

ETA: Would something like AP-25 work? American politics of the past 25 years? That way it maybe wouldn't need to be adjusted in future? —valereee (talk) 22:43, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by AtsmeEdit

ArbCom, grab the bull by the horns, and eliminate DS/AE altogether. It doesn't work - it opens the door to WP:POV creep, and there's really nothing that happens in a controversial topic area that an admin cannot handle normally to stop disruption. All DS/AE does is make it more difficult to reverse a bad judgment call - not saying all are bad judgment calls but I do believe POV creep is an issue. Let the admins do their job normally - if one of them misjudges, another admin will let them know and a compromise can be worked out less any wheel warring. Unilateral actions based on an admins sole discretion has created animosity, confusion, has cost us good editors, solves nothing, and wastes our time as we're seeing here now. That's my inflated nickel's worth, and yes, I'm biased because of what has happened to me. Atsme 💬 📧 19:11, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by DGGEdit

  • I find myself agreeing with Beeblebrox and others --having an RfC on this will just extend the discussion and provide a field for polemics, without adding anything to what the committee can do by itself. I was on the committee when we proposed the 1932 date, and we were trying to avoid saying everything related to AP whenever, by at least providing some limit. I think it was an unrealistic one. The roots may go back to 1932, but the on-wiki controversies begin with Obama. As Eggishorn's data does not go back before Obama's 2nd term, the logical cutoff is the beginning of the election campaign of his first term, which is 2008. DGG ( talk ) 17:58, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by BD2412Edit

1992 seems to be an entirely appropriate cutoff to me. It's not as if we can't go back and adjust it (or apply existing administrative tools) if a bunch of issues suddenly bubble up around Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. BD2412 T 21:19, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by GoodDayEdit

I'm content with whatever cutoff year yas choose. Just be sure to let me know, what that new cutoff year is. GoodDay (talk) 21:22, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by North8000Edit

I think that what makes a few topics particularly and intractably contentious is when there when there is a current real-world contest on where persons from one side feel that their side can gain or lose based on what's in the related Wikipedia article. Also where enough English Wikipedia editors are motivated to that level. The next consideration is that measures such as this should only be as broad as needed. Besides a chilling effect, like with other Wikipedia mechanisms, tools designed to avoid warfare often becomes tools OF warfare. Regarding American politics, the core of the battle is elections and current specific hotly debated items and culture wars. By that criteria, I think that moving it up to 1980 would still encompass the particularly and intractably contentious areas. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 14:27, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Since nobody appears to be opposed to narrowing, perhaps you could say "change to 1980 as step one, and then review for possible further narrowing.". Two stages sounds slower, but it is decisively moving towards a resolution vs. not. North8000 (talk) 14:29, 18 January 2021 (UTC)


Statement by CourcellesEdit

As someone who worked on and voted on the existing remedy, I can tell you why I argued for this date specifically -- so that the entirety of Social Security would be covered. It was not a date picked out of thin air; while most of the New Deal is not a major issue in the modern climate, at the time (and in the years preceding the decision) proposals on the reform of Social Security were a fairly big deal, and the impending exhaustion of the trust fund in the next couple years might bring it back up again. I haven't been nearly active enough lately to offer anything beyond this historical "What was arbcom thinking?" footnote, though! Courcelles (talk) 01:03, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}Edit

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.

American politics 2: Clerk notesEdit

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

American politics 2: Arbitrator views and discussionEdit

  • just as a suggestion, perhaps it would be better to discuss this after Jan. 20? DGG ( talk ) 06:26, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
    With the holidays and new year and new Arbs incoming, I don' think we'll have reviewed this much sooner anyway. Technically, January 20th is not that relevant for articles about events 80 years ago but since this is a pretty active and sensitive area, I would recommend scheduling plenty of time for community comments anyway. Regards SoWhy 10:35, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Any cut-off date of this kind is going to be at least a little bit arbitrary. I'd be interested in knowing whether the current 1932 date is causing any practical issues, e.g., are there people being sanctioned for disputed edits or edits being unnecessarily deterred covering the period from 1932 to, say, 1960? Off the top of my head I'd say the major flare-ups have concerned the politics and politicians of the past 20 years or so, but I'd welcome input from the AE admins and the editors active in the area. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:51, 24 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Interstellarity, what is currently covered in that 1932–1944 time period that you think ought not to be covered by DS? I can see the potential argument for adjusting the time frame of the DS topic area, but I don't know if changing it that minimally is really worth the time. GorillaWarfare (talk) 16:23, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Looking at the examples given here of older topics covered under this DS area: Frank Rizzo is covered due to a statue of him being torn down in 2020, Three Red Banners is covered due to a conspiracy theory involving the Biden/Harris logo, and Vince Foster is covered due to ongoing conspiracy theories involving his death. I think it's fair to say that all three of these articles would still be covered regardless of the cut-off date for discretionary sanctions in this topic area, and instead we should be looking at trying to delineate politics from history. Perhaps the line separating the two could be drawn much closer to the present than is being proposed here. – bradv🍁 16:42, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
  • I've always thought that setting a date from which DS would apply was more of a content decision that ArbCom normally makes. Further, the reasoning offered here by some editors (e.g. Beyond My Ken, SMcCandlish) about why it should be certain dates again reads to me more like a content decision making than behavioral determination. The reason why ArbCom does this is pretty obvious - ArbCom owns DS and DS is normally created in the middle of a case, so of course it needs to make a decision around the parameters. However, in this case ArbCom isn’t under the time pressure of a case. Therefore, I would be inclined to want to see a normal content resolution method, in this case an advisory RfC, to justify voting to change the years of DS or else more behavioral analysis (such as what is offered by Eggishorn) in order to support a change. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:30, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    Eek: I think there's a good argument to be made that the onus on us is to limit the scope of extraordinary administrative powers (through DS) to the minimum necessary range and thus a good reason for the 1980 date suggested a couple times above (and also what Guerillero indicated to me was their original proposal). What, beyond what has been presented here by Interstallar and some others, would be a reason for you to re-evaluate the date? My answer is above but I'm curious what yours is because I am not clear. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:58, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    I want to publicly acknoweldge what Eggishorn has done here. The data he has collected is impressive on its own merits and very useful for me in my decision making process. Thank you to him. I remain open to an advisory RfC, as seems to have been supported by Worm, but I'm also open to just deciding it here if there is consensus among editors (and to be clear I'd want more comments made to be clear that's the case) and arbs generated by the data we now have. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:21, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
    I'd be OK with 1992 given the data in front of us. I'll note that I went through the article restrictions and found a couple that would be outside the time we're talking about (Internment and Frank Rizzo) from the last 3 years but this on the whole does continue to support that disruption is from the last 30 years. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:35, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
@Eggishorn: L235 sent out a nice reminder to the Arbs and Clerks about how this works. But essentially a second choice support is the same as an oppose until the first choice fails. So using me as an example, I oppose 1980 and have varying preferences for the other 3. Right now my first choice is 1988. That means I'm technically opposing 1992 and the RfC. If 1988 gets a majority opposing 1988 (as would happen if 1 more arb opposes) then I'm supporting 1992. I would try to do vote counting but NYBs and L235s equal first choices makes my head spin so I'm going to leave it to the professionals (clerks) to do, but I think things will fall into place soon. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:50, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  • A few thoughts: I can see myself supporting a much more recent cutoff than 1932 – plausibly I could end up supporting something in the neighborhood of the 1980s. I don't know if it's really worth it to move it up to something like 1944; is there much actual benefit? I could also support an advisory RfC like Barkeep49 proposes, but I'm not sure I agree it's a "content decision". Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 01:10, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I would personally support a date such as 1945 (the end of WWII and the beginning of the current world order) or 1955 (the start of the Vietnam war). If the community would like it, absolutely, and an advisory RfC as Barkeep suggests would be a great idea. But I wonder if it is even necessary to revisit the date at this time. It was arbitrary to begin with, and anything we would come up with would also be somewhat arbitrary. I am not seeing a compelling reason that the 1932 cutoff is causing problems, and changing it will result in a lot of bureaucratic overhead. If the adjustment would be minor and have limited effects, I think our energy best be saved for a broader look at DS later this year. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 04:49, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    BK: I can buy that the onus is on us to limit extraordinary powers, like DS, and am open to seeing the date move up. But I disagree with 1980 (Reagan's election), I think that remains too recent, and excludes much that remains a sorespot in the American political memory. I see that power~enwiki and SMcCandlish both mention 1960 (JFK's election), which I would accept more readily than 1980. I think the date should certainly not be sooner than 1980, as the Reagan years remain fiercely debated and form the foundation of the current political divide. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 05:31, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
    I greatly congratulate Eggishorn's analysis, thank you for the solid data, that has changed my mind. It seems apparent that we could choose 1992 or later and still be fine. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 23:06, 1 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Eggishorn, for that data – most helpful. I understand the original 1932 date, FDR and New Deal and so on. It's certainly not causing any difficulty to anyone, since there are no sanctions being issued, but if we don't need it, we don't need it, and I don't like having unnecessary sanctions and their notice boxes and advisory requirements and so forth. I'd be willing to amend to 1980, but in no event should it be any sooner than 1992. Katietalk 13:54, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm on board with moving to a more modern date, limiting the DS area. That said, I'm not keen on the committee chosing the date, as it does seem to be a content issue. Therefore, I particularly like Barkeeps' suggestion of an advisory RfC, to get community thoughts (also thank you to the community members who have commented so far). WormTT(talk) 10:21, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'm open to changing the date and I agree that "when did modern politics start?" is a content question, so an advisory RFC seems like a good idea but in the end, this Committee has to decide which date to set (but hopefully wiser after community input). Regards SoWhy 07:57, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I'll echo SoWhy in endorsing an advisory RfC to help us make the final decision. --BDD (talk) 16:35, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Eggishorn makes a solid case for why we should move the date closer (and a potential starting point). The question of when is somewhat up for debate. On the one hand, I feel like any date we pick will be criticized (though I've seen some fairly compelling reasons for certain dates above). On the other hand, asking the community to decide would likely result in a hundred people all splitting their opinions between every year between 1932 and 2016 (i.e. at the moment I would not be in favour of some sort of advisory RfC).
TLDR: I'm willing to be convinced either direction, but at the moment I'm a "yes" for changing the date and a "no" for a community RfC on it. Primefac (talk) 20:32, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I've been meaning to comment here for days but got somewhat distracted by American Politics in real time. I do think we have a responsibility to keep sanctions as limited as is reasonable, and 1932-now is probably too wide a net for the scope of the issues. The idea of asking the community to decide for us does not sit well with me as I expect we would simply be extending the process and would still need to ultimately make the decision ourselves. The data is indeed compelling and interesting, but my gut says we'd be making a mistake by leaving the Reagan years out of it. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:01, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Just to provide clarity to editors who are watching, the 1992 cut-off now has a majority and is currently set to pass. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:17, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Motion: American politics 2 (1988 cutoff)Edit

Remedy 1.2 of the American politics 2 case ("Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)") is retitled "Discretionary sanctions (1988 cutoff)" and amended by replacing the words "post-1932 politics of the United States" with "post-1988 politics of the United States". Any sanctions or other restrictions imposed under the discretionary sanctions authorization to date shall remain in force unaffected.
For this motion there are 11 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. First choice given the data we've accumulated and Levivich's point about the value of editor time. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:02, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. First choice. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 04:27, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  3. I don't think this is a critical change, because no one is being sanctioned, or deterred from editing for fear of being sanctioned, in the earlier years anyway. Per SoWhy below, I'd be fine with tweaking the date to 1980 or 1992 also. Newyorkbrad (talk) 06:37, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
    second choice (on equal ground with 1980) given my thoughts on 1992 below. Primefac (talk) 12:09, 15 January 2021 (UTC) As proposer (with thanks to L235 for drafting the language). Primefac (talk) 00:37, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
    Struck, moved to oppose. Primefac (talk) 23:57, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. I'm not sure whether any of the dates mentioned are "correct" but if this aims to encompass "modern" politics, it should either include Reagan (1980) or clearly not (1992). I would count George H. W. Bush's presidency as an extension of Reagan's, considering he kept key policies and personnel in place, so 1988 seems a weird "cut" in this era to make. I still think a RFC would be helpful and I don't agree that not doing so will "save a bunch of editors a bunch of time". No one is forced to participate in such a RFC and if editors want to spend their time on such a discussion, it'll be their own choice. Regards SoWhy 19:15, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Maxim(talk) 20:11, 10 January 2021 (UTC) The data suggests that arbitration enforcement actions get applied overwhelmingly for topics starting at 1992 and later.
  3. We either include the Reagan years, or exclude the Reagan years, we shouldn't cut them in half (since HW Bush is basically Reagan II: Electric Boogaloo) CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 06:52, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. I don't see any reason to choose 1988 vs. 1992. --BDD (talk) 15:16, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. Of the three proposed cutoff dates, I feel this one makes the least sense. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:05, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  6. Every time I read through this thread it becomes more clear that '88, among the three date options, is the least plausible for a cutoff date. Primefac (talk) 23:57, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  7. Per Primefac (and others) really Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:50, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Abstain
  1. Prefer 1992, don't oppose 1988. WormTT(talk) 08:37, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Discussion
  • I think I'd be on board if this were 1980. I'll keep considering. --BDD (talk) 14:44, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
    • I'm also personally fine with a 1980 cutoff. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:49, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
    • If we're going to make the decision ourselves I think we need to do it based on data regarding existing disruption. 1988 already provides a buffer against the data suggesting problems begin with Clinton (1992). So I could not support 1980 if we're doing this here. I could support it as a more traditional content decision but for that I'd want the RfC. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:57, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Motion: American politics 2 (RfC)Edit

In Remedy 1.2 of the American politics 2 case ("Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)"), the Arbitration Committee authorized standard discretionary sanctions for "all edits about, and all pages related to post-1932 politics of the United States and closely related people". The Committee is now considering amending the 1932 cutoff date, and invites the community to hold an advisory RfC regarding what change, if any, should be made to it.
For this motion there are 12 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. Second choice as I think my original idea that there are elements to content decisions so we should use content decision mechanisms still remains. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:03, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
    Third choice. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:36, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Second choice. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 04:27, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  3. Per above. RegardsSoWhy 19:06, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
    Still think would be a good idea to have a discussion but I also think, we can decide this now, so for purposes of counting, count this as oppose if any cutoff passes. Regards SoWhy 21:42, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 20:36, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. Since this is fundamentally a content question, I expect this will remain my first choice. --BDD (talk) 20:47, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  6. Fundamentally, I do not believe this is a question for the committee, as it will have site wide content reprecussions. Overkill, perhaps, slow, perhaps - but neither of those concern me as much as getting the right answer. However, in deference to my colleagues below - I will be supporting 1992 and abstaining from other choices, which are all fine. I choose 1992 so as to minimise the area covered by DS - which I believe is an important thing to do. I would also accept 1998 based on the Eggishorn investigation, but I think I'm the only one on that. WormTT(talk) 08:36, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. I understand the concept, but a full-fledged, monthlong community RfC on this particular issue strikes me as overkill. If we feel we could use more input, a more direct approach would be to suspend the voting for a week, and announce on relevant noticeboards that we are considering this issue and would welcome community comments here. Newyorkbrad (talk) 06:43, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Maxim(talk) 20:18, 10 January 2021 (UTC) While I would appreciate being shown wrong, as far as I'm aware, the "arbcom encouraging an RfC" path has rarely if at all been successful. There was such a recommendation following the portals (2020) or civility in infobox discussions (2018) cases but it didn't go anywhere. Even the committee-led anti-harassment RfC took forever to get going, even after the new arbs were seated after the 2019 election.
  3. per the cogent analysis of my peers. Primefac (talk) 20:28, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. I was originally in support of this idea, but I don't think this is an important enough issue to dedicate a copious amount of community time to. This has already extended longer than it really ought have, and the outcome will still likely be one of the dates we have identified. Also, we have had a fair amount of community involvement already, which has given us the solid info we need to make an informed decision (thanks again to Eggishorn). CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 06:57, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. Per my comment below, I still feel this is our problem to solve, and kicking the can down the road won't change that, and is likely to be a waste of time. We've gotten plenty of input from the community right here on this page, I don't see how doing the same thing on another page for an entire month is needed. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:00, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  6. Huge timesink Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:51, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Discussion
  • This is an interesting idea, and I appreciate the thought behind it, but I have some concerns. One is that this is our responsibility. Whether we agree or not that the previous committee should have set a hard cutoff date, they did and therefore any change is ultimately our problem. More generally, I'm concerned that an RFC is just kicking the can down the road. If we don't get a very clear result we will just be back here in a month having the exact same discussion. I'm not at the point right now while I am outright opposing this idea but neither am I at the point where I would support it. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:11, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
    Same here, per my comment in the main section above. Primefac (talk) 18:29, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Motion: American politics 2 (1980 cutoff)Edit

Remedy 1.2 of the American politics 2 case ("Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)") is retitled "Discretionary sanctions (1980 cutoff)" and amended by replacing the words "post-1932 politics of the United States" with "post-1980 politics of the United States". Any sanctions or other restrictions imposed under the discretionary sanctions authorization to date shall remain in force unaffected.
For this motion there are 12 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 7 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. Proposed, as this date has been mentioned by BDD as a potential option. Equal first choice to the 1988 cutoff (clerks: count this as a vote for the motion that receives the most support from other arbs). I still disagree with the notion that this is a "content issue" – in my view, content issues are ones where the Committee decides directly or indirectly the contents of articles; this is manifestly not that. Even if the Committee decided "the cutoff should be the beginning of modern American politics, which begins 1980", that still wouldn't be a content decision, because it would not be binding on what can be included in the content of articles. And in my view, we've spent far more time on this than this issue justifies already. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 20:40, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. I think 1980 preferable to the 1988 cutoff. If we're going only by Eggishorn's well compiled data, then we should use 1992. But the disruption potential of the Reagan years seems apparent, and I think we would do ourselves a disservice by choosing a date later than 1980. See also my above comments. I agree with Kevin that this is not a content decision, and that we have already spent too much time on it. We aren't saying what can and can't be on pages, or defining for the world what modern American politics is, we are simply creating a usable internal definition that allows for special enforcement action. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 06:50, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  3. Second choice. I still think we should have a wider discussion (RFC or otherwise) but if not, I agree with CaptainEek above. Considering the influence Reagan had on the modern GOP and by extension American politics in general, this era should be covered. Regards SoWhy 13:29, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
    I don't think a RFC will happen, so I'll upgrade this to first choice in order to hopefully make it easier to calculate supports. Regards SoWhy 21:39, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. Second choice after the RFC—i.e., if we're deciding now, I say 1980. CaptainEek has put it best. --BDD (talk) 16:16, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. Second choice (even with 1988). I can see the argument for including the Reagan years, but the evidence suggests that these are not "disputed" years of activity. That being said, there are many involved in American Politics who would classify Reagan as being the "beginning of modern politics", and since that's the primary focus of this DS region it would make sense to include his presidency in it. Primefac (talk) 11:58, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  6. Support, equal preference to the other dates. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:29, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  7. Is this a perfect solution? Almost certainly not. Is it better than what we have now? Yes. While I appreciate that this is a rare instance where we appear to have empirical data that suggests a specific date that is different from this one, I really feel like the Reagan years were the genesis of the current framework of American national politics and we'd fnd ourselves back here again in the future if we exclude them from the scope now. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:03, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Opposed per my comments above.below Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:35, 10 January 2021 (UTC) Edited Barkeep49 (talk) 16:24, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Per oppose on 1988 cutoff Maxim(talk) 20:48, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  3. Too broad Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:51, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. Soft oppose, to help with voting. Since the RfC is not happening, I would like to keep the sanction as narrow as possible. WormTT(talk) 12:06, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Abstain
Prefer 1992, don't oppose 1980 WormTT(talk) 08:38, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Discussion
  • Just to put my concerns with this date in this section rather than making people search them out elsewhere, I think we, as a committee, have an obligation to apply DS as narrowly as possible in order to prevent disruption. Given what appears, over a 3 year time period which included an election, a lack of disruption that led to either article restrictions (my look revealed 2 that were pre-1988) or editor sanctions (see work above from Eggishorn) I think saying "1980 because that marked an epoch change in American History" is an intellectually cogent position but not one which fulfills our obligation to be conservative with the grant of extraordinary powers to administrators. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:24, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Motion: American politics 2 (1992 cutoff)Edit

Remedy 1.2 of the American politics 2 case ("Discretionary sanctions (1932 cutoff)") is retitled "Discretionary sanctions (1992 cutoff)" and amended by replacing the words "post-1932 politics of the United States" with "post-1992 politics of the United States". Any sanctions or other restrictions imposed under the discretionary sanctions authorization to date shall remain in force unaffected.
For this motion there are 10 active arbitrators, not counting 2 who are inactive, so 6 support or oppose votes are a majority.

Support
  1. Second choice. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:35, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Proposed, as this date has been mentioned by Barkeep49 and others as a potential option. Equal first choice to the 1988 cutoff (clerks: count this as a vote for the motion that receives the most support from other arbs), per my vote above. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 20:40, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  3. Per comments on 1988 cutoff. Maxim(talk) 20:48, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  4. Per my comments on RfC motion - this would be my choice if my colleagues do not agree on holding an RfC. I don't oppose any of the dates - but I do feel the committee should be minimising the area covered by DS. I appreciate CaptainEek's point about capturing potentional disruption - but there's potential disruption everywhere, and our concern should be actual disruption. These sanctions are not being used to combat anything between 1980 and 1992, so we should just cover the minimum. WormTT(talk) 08:42, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. Having re-read through the evidence, while the other dates have reasonable arguments, the evidence indicates that there has been no disruption before the Clinton years. Primefac (talk) 11:55, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  6. Support, equal preference to the other dates. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:29, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  7. Support only as a distant second choice to 1980. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:04, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
  8. Support strongly - based on (a) zero sanctions older than 1993 (b) start of controversial Clinton years, (c) significant numbers of still-living people active from this point on. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 21:53, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Oppose
  1. Much of current American politics, at least on the conservative side, can be tracked back to Reagan and Bush, including a number of key personnel, like Bill Barr, who served both back then and recently. I also think it's reasonable to have a cut off date that encompasses most still living politicians' whole careers. There are only two current members of Congress whose tenure started before 1980 (Patrick Leahy and Don Young) but thirteen that started before 1992, including Mitch McConnell. Regards SoWhy 19:13, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Abstain
  1. I do not feel strongly about 1992. I think it would be a workable date, though I prefer 1980 so that we capture the Reagan years. But 1992 would not be the end of the world. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 07:02, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
  2. Per CaptainEek. I don't really see the case for 1988, but otherwise, all of the proposed motions are reasonable to me. --BDD (talk) 15:18, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Discussion

Amendment request: Warning of Objective3000Edit

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Initiated by Awilley at 02:00, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Case or decision affected
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement&oldid=999183166#Mandruss
Clauses to which an amendment is requested
  1. Mandruss and Objective3000 are cautioned against circumventing edit restrictions, even when they are right on the content, and even when this is done somewhat unwittingly.


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
  • Remove the warning to Objective3000 (leaving only a warning for Mandruss)


Statement by AwilleyEdit

This incident is so inconsequential that normally I would ignore it, but as one of the parties has found it unfair enough to retire [5] and the other has explicitly welcomed Committee oversight [6] [7] [8] here I am. Both editors are people I respect who were acting in good faith, so I hope this can be resolved quickly and without any hard feelings or extra drama.

At issue is this statement by Objective3000 at WP:AE addressing Mandruss and the editor who filed the AE. Mandruss had been taken to AE for reverting the same content twice in 24 hrs and declining (on user talk) to self-revert. After Objective's comment, Mandruss self-reverted and Objective3000 re-reverted. (For what it's worth Mandruss was reverting content that had been recently added to the Lead that didn't have consensus on the talk page. [9])

El_C saw this as tag-team editing to circumvent a sanction and logged a warning for Objective3000 to that effect over my objections. I think Objective did a Good Thing in trying to resolve the problem in the most efficient way possible, and doesn't deserve a logged warning for that. Also note that the edit restriction on the article does not prohibit Objective3000, who had not made any other edits to that article in the preceding week, from reverting a revert, so O3000 did not violate any sanction or policy. ~Awilley (talk) 02:00, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@CaptainEek: With respect, I think you're on target with the basic principles of preventing disruption, but I think you got it backwards on whether Objective3000's edit was disruptive.
  • Editor A added contentious ("attempted coup d'état") material to the Lead of a highly visible BLP. [10]
  • Mandruss reverted it with a detailed edit summary. [11]
  • Editor B re-added much of the same material without providing any justification in their edit summary. [12]
  • Mandruss reverts again (violation) [13] then self-reverts (back to no violation) [14]
  • Objective3000 reverts, restoring the status quo ante. (no violation) [15]
So yeah, that's technically tag-teaming, but is it disruptive? What's the alternative? Leave the contested material in the article until a consensus eventually forms to remove it? That's backwards. ~Awilley (talk) 04:26, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Thank you to the people who have spent time reviewing this. Reflecting on this over the past couple of days, I think what bugs me most is our knee-jerk tendency to classify all tag-team editing as bad. The goodness/badness of tag-teaming, just like regular reverting, depends entirely on the context. It's good when used on vandalism, BLP violations, copyvios, obviously UNDUE/POV content, and edits that are clearly against consensus. It's bad when used indiscriminately to circumvent or disrupt the consensus building process. This is why it surprises me when so few people here, including some Arbitrators, have not commented on the context. If you look at nothing else, please look at this diff (including the edit summary). I realize it's tricky to decipher what text had been added to the Lead between all those references, so here's the text itself for your convenience:

The riots and storming of the Capitol were described as insurrection, sedition, and domestic terrorism.[2][3][4] Some news outlets labeled the act as an attempted coup d'état by Trump.[5][6] The incident was the first time the Capitol had been overrun since the 1814 burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812.[7][8]

There was not consensus to add this content, and the wikilinks to insurrection, sedition, domestic terrorism, burning of Washington, and coup d'état seem excessive for the Lead of top-level biography. This context makes some of the comments here less than logical. User:Levivich is aware that there was no consensus to add "coup d'etat" to the Lead, as he had voted at Talk:Donald_Trump#Coup_d'etat_attempt, yet he is here criticizing Ojective3000 and Mandruss. User:MONGO cites the fact that this is a high profile BLP as reason to warn O3000, while ignoring that O3000 was the one reverting the contentious content out of the BLP. I see at least two other users here criticizing O3000 who regularly complain about how other editors use recent news to stack the articles of conservative figures with negative information. I can see why User:Black Kite might be cynical, but I think it could be chalked up to our tendency to make snap judgements without looking at context. ~Awilley (talk) 19:54, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

@BDD: Ha! That's fair. I picked the Mandruss revert diff because of the edit summary. The Objective3000 diff [16] is reverting basically the same thing minus the last sentence. Also a minor point of order: you say, "Sometimes, even when you're right, you need to step back and leave it to someone else. The language Mandruss removed was overly strong and UNDUE, but not the sort of obviously defamatory material whose removal justifies ignoring a 1RR restriction." I would point out that Objective3000 was that "someone else". There was no 1RR violation, as O3000 had not made any other edits to the article in the preceding week or following days.
My argument is definitely not that warning O3000 is outside of El_C's discretion. El_C can warn whomever they choose for whatever they feel like and it's within discretion. But it's problematic that the warning purports to be the result of an AE thread that had input from multiple admins. Of the 4 admins who commented in that thread, one (myself) explicitly opposed warning O3000, and two (User:Johnuniq and User:Floquenbeam expressed a general distaste for taking bureaucratic action but didn't comment specifically on O3000. (Johnuniq has now clarified here that they oppose the warning.) Only El_C supported the warning for O3000, so at best this is a close that misrepresents a consensus of admins.
A compromise outcome here that would fully satisfy me would be if User:El_C clarified in the close and in the log that the warning of O3000 specifically was under his own discretion and was not the result of the AE thread. That would make this an issue of acceptable admin discretion instead of a bad close. ~Awilley (talk) 23:15, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you El_C for doing that. Also, I apologize for having opened this without first approaching you on user talk. If I had to do it over I would have requested that, or that you re-open the thread and let someone else close. Unfortunately these options didn't occur to me until later. ~Awilley (talk) 04:42, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Objective3000Edit

As the Eagles sang: “You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave" I was disappointed to see @CaptainEek: and @Power~enwiki: say I threw a fit and made a threat of retirement. I made no threat and had no fit. I simply put a retired template on my UTP and archived the rest so folks would know not to post. I made no suggestion of retirement in advance and no statement of my reasons. That is, no parting shot. I also decided not to file an appeal. Can’t one even quietly retire without nasty comments? I am also disappointed that @Levivich: would point to a year-old AE discussion claiming it was prior evidence of me tag-teaming. In fact, SashiRolls made a fallacious claim that five editors were tag-teaming and the result was an indef AP2 TBan for SashiRolls. Attacks against DS editors are extremely common, as can be seen by perusing the drama boards.

Now, as to the situation. DS articles absolutely must have additional restrictions. They are inundated with five-minute old, undigested news (as was the case here), fringe theories, vandalism, and white supremacists, et. al. from the Reddit site de jour spreading hate. But, these restrictions create a very difficult editing environment. Witness the resulting AP2 editor attrition from sanctions here. When six new editors appear from an off-Wiki site pushing the same POV (real tag-teaming), editors run up against 1RR very quickly. It is commonplace for an editor to request another editor make a revert to avoid a 1RR sanction. It is common to suggest a self-rvt after an accidental or iffy edit and then re-revert. I have even seen admins request reverts from other editors. (Most admins are smart enough to avoid DS articles entirely.) Further, DS rules differ by page and keep changing. That’s not a complaint. It’s a necessity.

I’ve talked to the problem. I don’t know the solution. I would suggest that RECENTISM in some form become a guideline instead of an essay. In this case, repeated attempts were made to add contentious “breaking news” to the lead of a highly viewed BLP with no consensus and no corresponding text in the body. The edit I reverted included the words insurrection, sedition, and domestic terrorism in a BLP about some guy named Donald. Personally, I agree with the words – but strongly believe this requires ATP discussion and some time to pass. Frankly, this was verging on a vandalism exception, which I think should nullify Mandruss’ warning. My attempt was to deescalate a situation, guide discussion to the ATP, and remove the BLP problem as quickly as possible. We must have a way to stop news from ending up in a BLP that is so new the ink is still wet.

As my retirement has been mentioned, I must say that my retirement was triggered by the sanction as a vague, logged warning along such lines makes editing in DS areas untenable. However, I also need the time IRL. So, reversal of the warning does not mean return. Not that my minor efforts matter to the project. But, I had a totally clean 13 year record, despite spending most of my time in highly controversial articles sprinkled with land mines (which usually results in acquiring some less than friendly coworkers) and would like that record back. I also think such sanctions have a chilling effect not helpful to the DS editing environment. We already walk on egg shells. Let us not weaponize them.

I would like to thank the three admins and Mandruss who have spoken out in my favor here, and apologize for the length. O3000, Ret. (talk) 16:54, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@Wikieditor19920: I say, get a rope.
@Black Kite: Yeah, it is ironic that my only sanction is for removing highly negative text about a man I’ve strongly disliked for a quarter of a century. Then again, I’ve removed dozens of negatives edits about him on various articles. O3000, Ret. (talk) 23:27, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Incidentally, there have been 73 edits to that article since Mandruss and I reverted -- and no one has restored it or added any text like it that I can find. We must have the ability to quickly deal with contentious, highly viewed, negative BLP material -- even if the article is about Mussolini (assuming he's still dead). I still believe that NPOV is paramount, particularly in BLPs. Guess I'm old-fashioned. O3000, Ret. (talk) 23:27, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
@SPECIFICO: said O3000 has now told us that Awilley's premise for this thread ... was based on an unwarranted inference. No, Awilley was correct. O3000, Ret. (talk) 18:55, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
@Eggishorn: No one is treating this as the trial of the century. But, let me try to explain why this isn’t just a "Please don't do this again." I perform a huge number of reverts on many DS articles. There are two reasons for this. First, there are a huge number seriously poor edits by POV pushers, vandals, inexperienced editors, folks that want to be the first to add “breaking news”, etc. In the case of Trump, I think recent events show just how crazy some people are on this subject. The main Trump article has had over 500 edits in the last month. That is just one of the 141 Trump related articles. And that’s just one subject area in AP2. And AP2 is just one area in the DS arena. These attract an unusual number of bad edits. Secondly, I wake early in the morn when there are fewer editors around to clean up these articles. OK, the next part of the problem is that people hate to be reverted; so I make a lot of enemies. After all, if they heard it on InfoWars, it must be true. Further, there exist an unusual number of editors on these articles who have weaponized the drama boards, dragging other editors there in the hope of eliminating them. Most of these attempts fail because they simply don’t have anything to hang their hat on. This logged warning puts additional ammunition in their toolboxes. I’ve been dragged to AE, ANI, and AN3 several times, sometimes not even responding and never sanctioned. But IMO, this additional tool would make editing in the already dangerous DS areas too time-consuming and risky for my taste. O3000, Ret. (talk) 20:24, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
@CaptainEek: In no way did I make a "dramatic" retirement. I made no statement. I made no threat. I requested no provisos. I simply retired using the standard template so editors wouldn't post on my UTP and wonder why I didn't respond. I decided not to appeal and retired before someone else appealed. There was no reason for me to wait for an appeal to end that I did not know would be initiated. If I say that I will not return if the record is cleaned, would that satisfy (rhetorical)? O3000, Ret. (talk) 21:35, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by El_CEdit

After Mandruss explicitly refused to self-revert, Objective3000 proposed to them to "Self-rvt and I’ll rvt." Mandruss then self-reverted (diff), followed by Objective3000 reverting back a mere 2 minutes later (diff). Needless to say, I consider that to be inappropriate, enough to deem noting it in the log to be worthwhile. Note that my log entry (diff) noted Awilley's objection (which, honestly, I still don't really understand) as well as there being mitigating circumstances of an extraordinary nature (pertaining to the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol). Finally, my AE report closure (diff), which reiterated all of that, also praised both Mandruss and Objective3000 for their long-term high-quality work at the AP2 topic area. I don't at all mind giving this particular violation a pass (makes sense), but to conclude that it wasn't actually a violation, that I cannot abide. Beyond all of that, I was sorry and quite shocked to learn that Objective3000 has retired over this. That's a serious loss to the project. My closing summary at the AE report stressed that I didn't intend for the warning to serve as a "blemish" on their "record," but I guess that wasn't enough. El_C 02:49, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Mandruss, even though I understand the impetus, I don't really appreciate the snark. Anyway, Awilley was the only admin to have objected, there was no admins (plural) who did. And, as much as I tried to understand his objection, it just didn't make sense to me, so I acted. Now the matter is before the Committee, which is fine. As for your repeated objections to me having cited the WP:TAGTEAM essay — again, I don't understand how that is of import. As mentioned, I made use of discretionary sanctions to interpret there to have been a WP:GAME violation, which I never argued was intentionally underhanded. But leaving both you and Objective3000 (yes, and Awilley) somehow assured that no violation has taken place, without consequence, thereby leaving open the possibility of it having repeated at some point in the future — that is a problem, I challenge. Enough for me to act unilaterally. As for it constituting a "blemish" on their record — all Objective3000 would have to do if someone were to try to use it against them would be to quote me saying that it wasn't intended as such. Which is why I said it, in the 1st place. El_C 03:23, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Johnuniq, I would not have felt it worthwhile to register a warning in the log (because it is, indeed, otherwise trivial) had it not been for both Mandruss and Objective3000 insisting that no violation had taken place. That is the crux of the matter here. My position is that concluding the AE report in such a way would have been problematic. El_C 03:53, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Newyorkbrad, not at all. Maybe I'm failing to articulate this well enough, so I'll give it another go: it just didn't feel like I had much of a choice at the time. Despite the (admittedly) good faith intent behind the action and despite the ample discussion that followed soon thereafter, I was unable to conceive how else to meaningfully express to both Mandruss and Objective3000 that proposing that one self-reverts so that the other could in turn revert back was inappropriate. They were both adamant that it was perfectly fine. And so, my thinking was that if the AE report were to be closed without emphasizing this being otherwise, then what would stop it from repeating in the future?
As your colleague CaptainEek noted in their opening sentence: it is rare that we actually see tag teaming, but this seems a pretty clear case of it. Now, if other Committee members end up subscribing instead to your interpretation of it being only a debatable alleged violation, well, that would surprise me, but I will of course respect that finding. In a pragmatic sense, it would actually probably be better for the project if the Committee were to recommend for me to rescind the warnings, notwithstanding that I'd still consider that to be a logic and policy fail. Because then, Objective3000 may come out of retirement and Mandruss may end their wikibreak early. Which, hey, to me that's better than some abstract notion of principles.
Honestly, the level of vehemence and dismay brought by the warnings took me by surprise. I did not at all see it coming. I thought I was able to draft these gently enough so as to alleviate any serious discord. Obviously not. And, let's face it, the chances that either of them would do anything of the sort ever again seems especially remote now. So, as much as I might go on about the poor example that it would have set, such a thing seems to happen so rarely among established editors, maybe it would be for the best if I were prompted to backtrack. That having been said, in the realm of logic and policy interpretation, I still don't believe I was in error. El_C 08:12, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
On the matter of this appeal being out of process, perhaps it's worth noting that, for my part, this is not a problem for me. As, perhaps, the most active admin on the AE front in the last few years (which I believe the AE noticeboard and AE log bear out), I not only welcome Committee scrutiny, I welcome extra Committee scrutiny. To me, that is an essential component of the overall WP:ADMINACCT imperative. El_C 18:59, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
SPECIFICO, there is no "animus" between myself an Awilley. We may often disagree on enforcement policy matters, but always in a cordial and professional way. Not once has it been otherwise. It is no secret that I consider his Enforced BRD (wow, it took me so long to locate that user subpage!) to be inferior to the Consensus required provision. And that him going on to supplant CR with EBRD on multiple key AP2 pages was in error and likely lacked the consensus for such a key change. Now, I don't want to put Awilley on the spot, but as I noted to him yesterday, part of the problem here followed from his half-hazard and inconsistent and novel construction and application of Committee-authorized sanctions. I'll quote from what I told him yesterday on my talk page: I think PackMecEng's observation pretty much nails it, Awilley. Beyond that, I echo what others have argued before: that you tend to overrely on sanction customization, which, at times, appears to be somewhat esoteric in nature and unclear, or otherwise less than consistent (diff). I vaguely remember, for example, a custom "no personal comments" sanction of his running into difficulties, I think because other admins couldn't figure out how to correctly enforce it. And don't get me wrong, I've indulged in some spectacular failures of custom AE sanctions. But the point is that I moved on from that (for years and years). Finally, on the whole CR versus EBRD matter, I'd like to make it perfectly clear that, while I had authored the WP:CRP supplementary page as a point of reference (at the request of Coffee), I was never involved in the formulation of it as a sanction. I actually don't even know how it came about, so if anyone does, please enlighten me. Now, imagine if the Committee was, somehow, prompted to take a close look into the whole CR versus EBRD realm of sanctions that it, itself, authorizes? Ooh, what do you say, incoming Committee? Kitty nudge?  El_C 19:37, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Wikieditor19920, it's unfortunate that you attribute favoritism to me without basis, because it's just plainly untrue. I, at least, would have acted exactly the same way had it been, say, MONGO and Atsme, instead of Mandruss and Objective3000. Which I'm pretty sure both MONGO and Atsme would vouch for (sorry for imposing, you two). El_C 22:32, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Bishonen, in fairness, the log entry does provide a permanent link to my AE report closure which features me saying that. But point taken. El_C 23:26, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Kevin, about converting "warned" into "advised" (the log entry actually currently reads "cautioned") — I'm happy to do that. Also fine with having both warnings vacated, as Newyorkbrad proposes (although I do note that this appeal only seeks to rescind Objective3000's warning alone). I'm just a bit hesitant to act while the discussion at ARCA remains pending. But if you recommend for me to just go ahead with that, I'll get right on it. I'm good with anything that would keep the peace. If anything, my wording about it not intending to serve as a "blemish," about noting the "extraordinary mitigating circumstances" as well as the "objections," and so on — all of that, for all intents and purposes, was actually meant to be read as more of, as you put it, an "advised" (or "cautioned") rather than as a more standard "warned" (outright). But, certainly, happy to sharpen. And if reviewing Committee members feel I, myself, ought to be warned or cautioned or advised (or however you choose to phrase it), I'll of course take such review to heart. El_C 00:07, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Many thanks for the kind words, Atsme. That means a lot coming from an editor as accomplished as yourself. El_C 22:08, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Tryptofish, that 2-way IBAN was one of the spectacular sanction customization failures that I refer to in my kitty nudge comment above. And not because it was later converted to one-way (I actually know very little about that facet of it), but because it contained this novel first mover advantage which was a particularly poorly-formed idea on my part. Oh well, live and learn. But by contrast, with respect to this AE report closure and log entry, I actually still feel that those were fairly well thought-out. Which, of course, isn't to say that I am opposed to further improving their formulation (again, happy to do it). El_C 23:36, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Log entry addendum (subsection for emphasis)Edit

I'm not sure why it took me this long (pride? hurt feelings?) —and first and foremost, I apologize to both Mandruss and Objective3000, for this lengthy delay, which reflects poorly on me— but I have now added an addendum to the log entry (diff), which, as mentioned there, I hope will serve to quell any further tension. As I also note in this addendum, if there is anything else I can say or do to better facilitate peace and harmony, please do not hesitate to let me know. Thanks, everyone, for all your patience, and sorry that my response to this challenge has been less than ideal. El_C 19:46, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Briefly(ish), as my day is not yet done: thank you for being gracious, Mandruss. In response to your request, noting also that I just now noticed your earlier followup comment on my talk page (diff) — sorry I missed it, I just have gotten so many messages on my talk page since login out yesterday (in the double digits). Anyway, I was just about to say something to the effect that it is already being discussed by the clerks (diff), so that the request is unlikely to be closed without the contested passage being addressed. But now I see that Bishonen has removed it (diff), which was quickly followed by the clerk in question, Dreamy Jazz, reverting her (diff). Which, while it is within their rights (Dreamy Jazz as well as the other clerks), is unfortunate.
I will further emphasize that I have known you to be pretty much the preeminent editor for the Donald Trump article, and I have never picked up on there being any page ownership issues on your part (though, admittedly, my familiarity with the editing history of this most pivotal of biographies is highly limited). If anything, my sense is that the project owes you a debt of gratitude for your tireless work in that article over the years. Again, the absence of any serious evidence for the ownership claim that SPECIFICO directed toward you probably renders it an WP:ASPERSION. I won't quip over whether it should be counted as a personal attack outright, but I will note that the concluding remark to have you blocked for a month, to me, does come across as provocation. So, that is my position on the matter. Hope I was able to articulate it to your satisfaction. Sorry it has taken me so long to do so (broken record, I know). All the best, El_C 22:22, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Awilley, sounds sensible to me. I have updated the AE close and log per your suggestion (diff, diff). El_C 23:53, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Awilley, no apology needed, though I do appreciate it. If anything, I owe you an apology for the discourtesy of bluntly over-ruling you at that AE discussion rather than engaging further with you, as I should have. I also think it's important I emphasize that, while I've been critical about some of your actions (past and present), I do hope you realize that notwithstanding our various disagreements, I've always considered you to be an asset to the project and that hasn't changed. You and me — we're good.  BTW, thanks for picking up the slack at the Onceinawhile AE request. As I explained to both Onceinawhile and to the filing editor earlier today, I'm a bit burned out at this point from that seemingly-endless dispute, so I appreciate you stepping in. And... good luck in being able to clear that particular minefield — you're going to need it! (I'm still around if you need me, though.) Thanks again! All the best, El_C 07:18, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by power~enwikiEdit

This was extremely blatant tag-team editing, and I don't think a threat of retirement is a good reason to revoke the justified note they were "cautioned against circumventing edit restrictions". power~enwiki (π, ν) 02:16, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by MandrussEdit

I fail to see how such a warning could be NOT a blemish on one's record. But who knows, here where up is down, yellow is purple, and a lone admin can issue a logged warning against serious opposition from both admins and non, while citing nothing written but an obscure essay. I'm not smart enough to understand this. ―Mandruss  03:03, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

[insert one sleep period]

I think a good unwritten rule would be: When an editor has established a long history of conscientious good faith behavior, they have earned the benefit of the doubt and should not receive a sanction for a good faith mistake. Not even a logged warning. Such contributors should not be victims of the crazy, convoluted body of scattered, incohesive rules that our revered system of crowdsourced self-governance created and has proven utterly incapable of addressing. Sanctions should be reserved for bad faith, since they affect the editor's reputation and may contribute to future sanctions in a sort of snowball effect. This should be intuitive to any experienced editor possessing any sense of fairness.

A logged warning clearly implies fault, and there is no fault in a human mistake. A logged warning should not be a mechanism for clarification, as it has been used by El_C in this case. If the rules prevented El_C from filing an ARCA request, the rules seriously need changing. If ARCA had provided clarification for future reference without implying fault on O3000's part, I don't think he would have retired.

The appropriate action at this stage is:

  • remove the warning – today
  • post an apology to O3000 at their UTP (unimportant who does this, as long as they speak for ArbCom)
  • proceed with clarification
  • change the rules so that any editor may file a request for clarification

Mandruss  14:33, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@Jeppiz: Oh boy.

  • Mandruss had started to feel 'above the law' Unsupported by evidence or other editors (except perhaps Tataral, and he hasn't said that).
  • I had notified Mandruss about improper talk page behaviour You took a remarkably one-sided view of that little hatting skirmish. SPECIFICO was equally at fault there, and he acted first, but you "notified" only me. I've given this some thought and concluded that my recent well-founded public criticism of you here likely earned me a place on your shit list that caused you to read that situation in SPECIFICO's favor, giving him a pass. When I correctly informed you about your misuse of a warning template,[17] I expect that only moved me higher on your list and exacerbated the situation. I must be more careful about whose toes I correctly step on. Happy to discuss that with you at my UTP, but I don't think this is the time or place to dissect that "incident" further.
  • going against discretionary sanctions just because they felt they could - Clear misrepresentation, again calling into question your overall objectivity in the matter. I "went against discretionary sanctions" because I didn't understand how they applied in that case, and I think I've made this abundantly clear. I did not consciously go against discretionary sanctions, nor would I. Nobody is more careful about following the rules, and I make a concerted effort to understand them.
  • ignoring two different users' appeal to self-revert Right, neither of whom cited the passage from WP:EW that El_C quoted in the AE complaint. Editors often get such "appeal to self-revert" wrong. I looked at the both the content of the criticisms and the usernames of the editors making them, and I made a judgment call that I was more likely right than wrong, which turned out to be incorrect, and I decided to send this to AE. I did not "dare" you to go to AE. I don't know why it's so hard to understand that ultimately turning out to be wrong does not prove bad faith, and Mandruss's bad faith is how you have spun this entire episode.
  • the impression of feeling that normal rules don't apply to them All things considered, an entirely unjustified and unfair assessment in my opinion.
  • (I recognize in good faith that Mandruss may only be talking about Objective3000, not themselves) - Exactly, and that's crystal clear given that I requested a removal of O3000's warning, not mine.

I don't get how you felt it was appropriate to use this ARCA request about O3000's warning to take further swipes at me. I appreciate the compliments sprinkled throughout your distortions and unfounded criticisms, but that doesn't excuse them in my view. ―Mandruss  17:21, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

SPECIFICO commented about Awilley: ...and given Awilley's history of supervoting in various venues and with respect to various colleagues, I just think the appearance is obvious to those familiar with his history. I can't let that go without comment. First, I'm "familiar with his history" and do not share SPECIFICO's view. And SPECIFICO has a habit of asserting widespread support for his views and presuming to speak for others to bolster his arguments. I have asked him on at least three separate occasions, spanning perhaps three years, to speak only for himself. I would ask him to modify his comment accordingly; if he declines to do so, I trust that readers will take that part of his comment for what it is. ―Mandruss  21:11, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

To be perfectly clear for the record

Except in cases where it doesn't really matter (this was not such a case), I will never self-revert merely because an editor demands that I do so, unless they are one of the few editors high enough on my respect list that I would defer to their judgment. I'm more than capable of deference, but not with just any editor. Or any two editors. It's not a vote, and two editors can easily be wrong at the same time, especially when you consider that ulterior motives are sometimes present in these things. I doubt Jeppiz would blindly comply with a demand to self-revert if it didn't seem like a legitimate demand to Jeppiz. I doubt many competent editors would, particularly at that article. There is more at stake at that article than "going along to get along".

Other editors will need to show me something that makes it clear I'm in violation of the rules; that was not done until we got to AE, and not done by Jeppiz.

In my mind, my error was failing to have mastered the rules, not failing to blindly submit to the demand of two random editors. I don't expect my mind to be changed on that.

As I said at AE and here, I won't dispute my warning. But I will not have my integrity impugned without evidence. ―Mandruss  15:19, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

@Levivich: you should be considering the viewpoints of all editors – I did consider these editors' viewpoints. As I said above, I looked at the both the content of the criticisms and the usernames of the editors making them, and I made a judgment call that I was more likely right than wrong, which turned out to be incorrect, and I decided to send this to AE. Considering viewpoints does not mean blindly complying when you disagree with them. ―Mandruss  17:15, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm disappointed and alarmed at Jeppiz's continued attacks and failure to fairly evaluate what went on at my UTP. It's right here for anyone to review. I responded to the initial demand, If you are suggesting that this edit and this edit are the same, I suggest you take a closer look. They differ by 2,219 bytes if I'm not mistaken. It's eminently clear from that comment that I was under the impression that the edits needed to be the same content to be a violation. (Is Jeppiz suggesting that I was feigning ignorance at that point? For what purpose?) The constructive response would've been something like what El_C said at AE: reverts need not be "identical" to count as such. WP:EW is quite clear on this: in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material, on a single page within a 24-hour period (bold is my emphasis). Nothing like that was said at my UTP; if it had been, I would have immediately self-reverted. Instead, off we went to AE. Again, Jeppiz is claiming that being shown to be wrong at AE shows bad faith before AE. That is simply wrong on multiple levels, including logic and ethics, and I will NEVER accept it. If the community feels that means I should be banned from Donald Trump, fine, and then I'll be considering my own retirement even more seriously than I ever have in the past. Perhaps it's time to finally put this madness behind me and find a more rewarding hobby. ―Mandruss  17:43, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

@SPECIFICO: I feel he also has a serious WP:OWN ownership attitude that has been very counterproductive and obstructive. I feel that's a serious accusation and should not be made in support of a sanction proposal without evidence. If that's allowed, I have some feelings about you that might warrant a sanction. ―Mandruss  19:11, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

@SPECIFICO: And in case it wasn't obvious, I'm respectfully asking you to strike. ―Mandruss  19:33, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

@El C: Thanks for the good faith effort, surely beats being dismissed completely. I'll point out the illogic in cautioning people to avoid doing things unwittingly – which requires one to know what they don't know – but I won't press the point. I won't make this particular mistake again. As for "anything else", you could do what you can to facilitate the removal of the evidence-free serious accusation against me (clear NPA vio, discussed at your UTP) before this is closed, even if the rules prevent you from fixing it yourself. ―Mandruss  20:38, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
@Dreamy Jazz: Re:[18] Yes, notwithstanding any discussion you have had with other clerks, the accusation was serious enough to remove, which removal did not harm that discussion in any way. "Serious WP:OWN ownership attitude" is in fact a serious accusation, and more serious when accompanied by strong words like "very counterproductive and obstructive". This from an editor who has a long and contentious history with the target of his accusation, and whose motives here are properly suspect. Note that one editor has disputed the accusation, and none have supported it – not that that matters! There was no evidence presented!
Are we concerned that this would set a precedent that would increase the workload on arbs and clerks?
Praytell, what NPA vio would warrant removal – "You are a fucking imbecile"? That would be automatically dismissed by readers as obvious ad hominem attack by an angry editor who is not thinking clearly, not retained in their memory as something seemingly rational and possibly true.

William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1Mandruss  21:55, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by JohnuniqEdit

I had commented at the WP:AE case as an uninvolved admin and had made clear my distaste for the request for a sanction. El_C was technically correct but it is very undesirable to sanction people (yes, a logged warning is a sanction) when the incident is trivial and involves an issue where they are right. Their opponents managed to press the right buttons but they were blatantly wrong regarding what should happen in the article (they were padding the lead with not-news violations, no analysis by secondary sources, and nothing in the body of the article). Objective3000 made an honest statement (that Mandruss should self-revert to remove the technical problem so Objective3000 could repeat their edit)—that reflects how all topics under discretionary sanctions are handled. The rules of the game are known by all the participants and Objective3000's only mistake was to speak out loud. Furthermore, Objective3000 made a comment about their intentions whereas the issue (tag teaming) had already been implemented by their opponents—opponent 1 had inserted the padding; Mandruss reverted it; opponent 2 repeated the first edit after cutting out some of the excess. Johnuniq (talk) 03:43, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Beyond My KenEdit

Q: Does Awilley actually have standing to file this amendment request? I thought that third-party appeals were not allowed. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:58, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Just want to be clear that I'm not taking sides in this, as I haven't examined the situation is any great detail. I will say, however, that I am not at all in favor of DS being deprecated, as some commenters here are urging. I think they are a valuable tool that allows the wheels to keep turning, and that Wikipedia would become even more of a quagmire than it already sometimes is if they were gone. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:45, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by ProcrastinatingReaderEdit

This ARCA seems to be out of process? WP:AC/DS#sanctions.appeals: Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction.

It is amusing that this discussion happens so frequently, and every time IAR is cited. IAR is useful in exceptional circumstances, but this isn’t exceptional, it’s fairly standard I think. What’s the point in a rule - one, I might add, I don’t personally think is a good one - if nobody wants to follow it? It should be scrapped. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 10:49, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Levivich (O3000)Edit

This is not a new issue. A little less than a year ago, O3000's "tag teaming" with other editors (not Mandruss) was raised in an AE report (against another editor: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive261#SashiRolls, see, e.g., my statement and Pudeo's and also discussion on Pudeo's talk page at User talk:Pudeo#Personal attack). (I believe there were other related discussions but I don't remember where they are.) It was clear to me from those discussions that O3000 and others did not believe that planned or coordinated reverting (I'm not sure how else to phrase it) was tag team editing or a policy violation. I think O3000 left those discussions with the belief that his understanding of policy w/r/t "tag teaming" was correct—a reasonable belief given that nobody was sanctioned for it. I think this might help explain why O3000 would think there was nothing wrong with his actions and why he's taking this so hard.

So, although this does appear to be a third-party appeal, it might help prevent this sort of misunderstanding from happening in the future if Arbcom, or somebody, clarified "tag teaming" and edit warring policy, e.g. whether "self-revert and I'll revert" is OK or not. I'll also echo that O3000 wasn't the only editor who repeated another editor's edits: there is also the editor who reinstated a reverted bold edit. I think it's also an open question whether reinstating-after-revert is "tag teaming" (even when there isn't explicit on-wiki coordination).

These questions matter for any page under 1RR (and frankly are unevenly enforced by admins), so Arbcom could help by clarifying what is and is not "tag teaming" at least for DS 1RR restrictions. Levivich harass/hound 09:13, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@Objective3000: I didn't claim it was prior evidence of you tag-teaming. Quite the opposite, in fact: I think O3000 left those discussions with the belief that his understanding of policy w/r/t "tag teaming" was correct—a reasonable belief given that nobody was sanctioned for it. Levivich harass/hound 17:24, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
Wow, Mandruss, I can't disagree more strongly with just about every word of your statement here. If that's what you truly believe, then I think you should be removed from that article. That's a totally uncollaborative approach you're advocating; you should be considering the viewpoints of all editors, not just those you happen to highly respect, and it shouldn't take an AE filing to get you there. Levivich harass/hound 17:00, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
@Mandruss: With all due respect I think you're missing the forest for the trees here. Do you get that if you had listened to those two editors you weren't familiar with, and self-reverted, that the edit would have been re-reverted by O3000, by Specifico, by myself, or someone else, and there would have been no AE, no ARCA, no O3000 retiring, none of this drama. This is all because you were stubborn, because you didn't want to listen to, in your words, "random" editors. Next time, self-revert even if you disagree because it will save the rest of us a load of trouble. I don't have to unless a wikifriend or admin tells me! is no way to be. And don't kid yourself that there are more important things at stake with this article. The world will not end if the Donald Trump article has incorrect information for five minutes, or an hour, or even a whole day. That article is often disrupted, and your actions here caused more disruption. I really hope you realize self-reverting is the best way, even if you disagree. I learned this the one time I refused to self-revert and it resulted in a shit-load of unnecessary disruption (including a short pblock), and even though to this day I think I was right, I still should have just self-reverted, and thereby saved hours of editor time. And so it was here. Levivich harass/hound 17:41, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by MONGOEdit

Evidence presented seems to clearly indicate that this was tag teaming on one of our most viewed pages, a BLP to boot and the warning applied was not only of the most gentle of ones, but also one of the most necessary, considering the BLP in question in particular.--MONGO (talk) 09:36, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Not really sure what Awilley hopes to accomplish by dragging my earnest comment in the mud and misattributing my meaning [19] but since he had the decency to ping. Not really sure why Awilley even bothered to bring my comment up...nobody gives a rats arse what I think anyway. Did I notice they removed a questionable edit...yes, I did indeed. Does that grant them a free pass or special consideration/exemption? In my opinion, No. Is this because this is a prominent BLP...maybe. So what? Everyone have a group hug and sing kumbaya now.--MONGO (talk) 20:38, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by JeppizEdit

As the editor who made the original enforcement request, I wish to acknowledge both El_C and Awilley for their thoughtful contributions. I felt El C made a balanced call in issuing a warning but no block to Mandruss and Objective3000. I also think Awilley has made a balanced request that the warning stays for Mandruss but it dropped for Objective3000. It's not for me to comment on that decision. My concern when filing the request was that Mandruss had started to feel 'above the law', I wish to emphasize that Mandruss has made a positive contribution to Wikipedia and I wish they continue their good work. However, my request wasn't based on a single incident. The day before the policy violation, I had notified Mandruss about improper talk page behaviour for (admittedly) hatting a talk page comment by a third user [20] just because a different user had hatted theirs; I hoped a UTP discussion would be enough.
The day after, when Mandruss ignored the discretionary sanctions, I again took it to their talk page, as did a third user. Mandruss themselves more or less challenged us to go to AE ("I am not going to self-revert. With great difficulty I have stopped short of 3RR vio. If you wish to file at AE, do as you must. One of us would learn something, and learning is never a bad thing.") [21]. This combination of hatting a third user just because they felt they could, going against discretionary sanctions just because they felt they could, ignoring two different users' appeal to self-revert and even daring us to go to AE combined to give the impression of feeling that normal rules don't apply to them. When I see Mandruss arguing here (I recognize in good faith that Mandruss may only be talking about Objective3000, not themselves) "When an editor has established a long history of conscientious good faith behaviour, they have earned the benefit of the doubt and should not receive a sanction for a good faith mistake. Not even a logged warning.", I see the same problem that led me to file the request, the belief that 'some editors are more equal than others'.
Mandruss is a diligent editor whose net contribution is overwhelmingly positive; I hope that they stay. On a general level, I don't believe in special treatment and think the policy Mandruss suggests of letting more experienced editors off for the same behaviour that newcomers would be punished for would set a bad precedent with wider implications than this case. Jeppiz (talk) 16:04, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@Mandruss: For a short reply to your post, I'm happy to say you're mistaken. You're not on my "shit-list", nor do I have one. Your warning to me in November was correct, and I didn't take it badly at all. Quite the contrary, I took a little voluntary time-out. You were entirely right. So no, there is nothing personal here, not against you and not against Objective3000 (with whom I don't recall ever having interacted before). I've already stated I consider you a valuable and constructive editor. I do feel your interactions the last couple of days, including the latest, to be less than ideal. That is not a personal criticism (everyone has up and downs) but perhaps you might consider what I wrote and whether there might some relevance in it. Have a nice day. Jeppiz (talk) 18:07, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
@Newyorkbrad:, what has been proposed is to vacate the warning for Objective3000 and to leave the one for Mandruss. Discussion here has focused on whether the tag-teaming also merited a warning, as that was the reason Objective3000 was warned. As for Mandruss, there is also the issue of the original enforcement request for both breaking discretionary sanctions and repeatedly refusing to self-revert when called upon to do so. Presumably this is why the proposal was to vacate the warning for Objective3000 and leave the one for Mandruss. Jeppiz (talk) 10:33, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm disappointed in the attitude Mandruss continues to take. Mandruss now claims that Other editors will need to show me something that makes it clear I'm in violation of the rules; that was not done until we got to AE, and not done by Jeppiz. This is not true; in my effort to solve the situation at Mandruss TP, I explicitly referred to the rules, even quoted the discretionary sanctions [22]. I won't stand for Mandruss trying to claim something else. Mandruss's entire last contribution [23] pushes the limits of WP:AGF when they claim they were unaware. Accepting that would require overlooking that:
1. When Mandruss edited Donald Trump, they failed to notice the large box informing all users, in bold, about the policy in question.[24]
2. When I explicitly cited the policy at Mandruss's TP [25], Mandruss failed to understand it.
3. When Tataral also informed Mandruss about the discretionary sanctions, Mandruss for a third time failed to understand it [26].
I admit to finding it hard to believe an intelligent user (and I consider Mandruss highly intelligent) really failed to notice all three times, not even think "Hm, many indications I did something wrong, perhaps I should check". Claiming otherwise is not credible. We have now had three days of bickering over this. While I think everyone can make mistakes some time, I'd also expect mature editors to accept their mistake at some point and move on. Mandruss's WP:BATTLEGROUND behaviour in the three days, not least their repeated shots at me for having filed the report, is disgraceful. Jeppiz (talk) 17:22, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by SPECIFICOEdit

There have been many discussions in scattered venues about the need to reevaluate and reform DS and enforcement in American Politics. A tiny fraction of our Admin corps volunteer their time and attention and emotional involvement to the effort. The burden on them, including the ones involved in this case, is beyond what anyone could reasonably be expected to fulfil in a consistent and effective manner. So along with lots of good work, we also have inconsistencies, errors, and omissions. As has been acknowledged, this appeal is out of process. That's not a good thing except in an urgent situation unlike this one. I hope and expect that Arbcom will address the growing concern about DS and enforcement in general by initiating an orderly and systematic review and a discussion of its options to improve the entire system. The nature of DS is that it's discretionary. El C, as one of the most active volunteers in the area, makes lots of good faith judgments nearly continually, and I see nothing to be gained by validating Awilley's second guess of an action that was clearly within El C's authority. For the avoidance of doubt, if Mandruss had done the right thing and self-reverted when asked, there were several editors, including myself, who (without any prompting) would have independently removed the offending content. Despite that, to repeat, this "appeal" is out of process and should be declined. It's further complicated by Awilley's possibly animus toward El C, who was one of the Admins and experienced editors who opposed Awilley's unilateral replacement of "consensus required" with his bespoke "24-hour BRD" sanction. Not to accuse Awilley of such motivation, but the background should have been disclosed in this filing. SPECIFICO talk 17:32, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

@El C: I do not think anyone would suggest that you resent Awilley's actions. The appearance of animus would be in the other direction only. It is more than unusual to ask Arbcom to overturn so routine a discretionary action, and given Awilley's history of supervoting in various venues and with respect to various colleagues, I just think the appearance is obvious to those familiar with his history. Best practices is to avoid any such possible appearance -- and again, the ARCA request can be considered solely on its merits. Thanks for your note. I have never seen you personalize or improperly involve yourself in any Admin action. SPECIFICO talk 19:51, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

O3000 has now told us that Awilley's premise for this thread Statement by Awilley - This incident is so inconsequential that normally I would ignore it, but as one of the parties has found it unfair enough to retire was based on an unwarranted inference unrelated to what 03000 actually posted on his talk page. So I hope this extraordinary un-warning request can be set aside. The AE warning does nothing to diminish O3000's reputation or his excellent, collaborative editorial contributions, and it was clearly explained by El C and within his discretion.

I am distressed to see Mandruss' recent remarks here. Mandruss is by far the most active editor on the Donald Trump article and talk pages, at 22% of article and 27% of article talk page participation. Those are staggering figures of concentration for so active and widely edited pages. He has done lots of useful work -- more on housekeeping than article content, IMO, which is not his forte. He knows I appreciate his contributions, even to the extent that I urged him to run for Arbcom last fall. However, I feel he also has a serious WP:OWN ownership attitude that has been very counterproductive and obstructive. His views often prevail out of his sheer persistence and willingness to pursue his views to the point that others disengage. He said on his talk page that he's willing to learn from the experience of this AE complaint, and I think a page block of a month or so might help give him the breathing room to return refreshed and ready to collaborate. SPECIFICO talk 18:43, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

When I posted OWN above, I felt -- evidently incorrectly -- that Mandruss's statements and behavior documented in this ARCA matter supported my interpretation that he behaves as if from a privileged position in that article of the kind referened in OWN. But I hear several editors telling me I should have provided diffs in my section, so I'll provide a few I can quickly locate. In this AE matter, the problem was created bu Mandruss' refusal to self-revert after two editors brought his violation to his attention. As he says in his section on this page, Mandruss feels he can choose to deprecate the concerns of editors he doesn't know and respect, to wit the two who informed him of his violation. I think that's not our standard. Is the dominant editor on a page privileged to reject non-preferred editors out of hand? Then we have Mandruss' trying to tell other experienced editors what to do, e.g. here, following @Valjean: to his talk page with what I consider an inappropriate tone of privilege and an expectation of control. There are the recent discussions of "coup attempt. Note that this thread does not concern placing such text in the lead, which was the subject of a November discussion, and that it was about an edit and reference that pre-dated the attack on the Capitol. See [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Donald_Trump#Coup_d'etat_attempt this thread, including the hatted portion. In an unrelated discussion, both as to placement RS verification and WEIGHT, there had been previous attempts to put "coup" in the lead and back in November. See Mandruss in this thread with different sourcing and facts, about content that I considered UNDUE at the time.
So what I see here is an editor who is the most active presence on the page, who has not taken the responsibility to ensure he understands the page restrictions. And in the recent "coup d'etat" discussion in the first link above, he reverts it citing a nonexistent consensus to omit, presumably based on the inconclusive lead text discussion from months ago, giving no substantive reason other than his personal assertion of "consensus". He then continues to oppose the edit at some length before finally coming to my talk page and asking how he can see the cited Washington Post article, becuase he doesn't have access. It's up to him whether a WaPo subscription is worth the $26, but it's remarkable he would feel entitled to oppose text related to sourcing he has not seen. I question whether anyone can be highly active and opinionated at the AP articles without comprehensive media access across the spectrum. So again: To me, the tone and substance of Mandruss' behavior as documented at AE and in his words on this page were, combined with his edit stats, supporting my view that he acts from a sense of privilege that I called OWN. I've provided the above in response to reactions that my view was evidence free. I may or may not be correct, but I abhor ASPERSIONS and I hope I've at least corrected that, if not convinced anyone on the merits. SPECIFICO talk 23:36, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by AtsmeEdit

Warnings are minimal, not a biggy to sweat over. Regardless, this case exemplifies why ArbCom needs to revoke DS/AE. I'm not here to criticize any of the actions taken by individual admins or arbs; rather, I would like for ArbCom to look closer at the DS/AE monster that we've had to deal with in recent years. If behavioral disruption was the only issue, a simple admin action would have resolved the problem. If another admin felt the remedy was too severe or undeserved, then a discussion between the two would have likely led to a compromise instead of wasting valuable time here making this into a complicated case. I'm also not taking a position relative to any of the named editors in this case. I admit that I am biased against DS/AE because of what I perceive to be abuse/POV creep and what has happened to me - not that it has happened in this case. Houston, we have a problem. Atsme 💬 📧 17:40, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Responding to ping - I will certainly vouch for El C and add that from my perspective he is not a biased, hair-trigger admin. He applies common sense, exercises good judgment, and has done his best to comply with NPOV and BLP. I have seen him in action. I also disagree with Bishonen's characterization of CaptainEek. From my perspective, they did nothing "shameful", are not biased or overly critical. I appreciate their straightforwardness in calling a spade a spade. I am of the mind that we have a few admins who are much too close to the AP2 topic area, and may not even realize they are taking sides, or may inadvertently be subjecting themselves to POV creep. Having preconceived notions is not too unlike being prejudiced, and that is a problem ArbCom can resolve with this fresh new team, and one of the main reasons so many of us elected them to ArbCom. Perhaps a good place to start cleaning things up is with a bit of research to validate or debunk what was reported in this article and quite a few other articles online that have criticized our neutral position. I'm sure the community would appreciate a more focused ear on what DGG, and even Jimbo, has been saying over the past few years. Bottomline - this was merely a warning, and just look at the drama it created. It speaks volumes considering that so many other warnings go relatively unnoticed, and so do some unilateral, sole discretion imposed t-bans. Atsme 💬 📧 12:37, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I have a question about this amendment request after it was closed at ARCA. Per Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Procedures#Standard provision: appeals and modifications under Important Notes it states: 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. Am I reading that wrong, or did miss the part that says admins are allowed to do that, just not editors? If I'm not mistaken, the discussion was closed with an issued warning to both - that was the appeal - so how can this be happening now? Atsme 💬 📧 16:41, 10 January 2021 (UTC) It was at AE, not ARCA; the rollercoaster went too fast for me. 21:13, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Barkeep49, my apologies - it went from AE to ARCA - it's so damn confusing. At least it has been noted that we are discussing warnings - that part I got. Everything else is a time sink, and I blame DS for that - DS is the disruption so site ban it. I feel bad for ArbCom and what they're having to deal with because simple remedies no longer work as a result of alliances, biases, prejudices, whatever - in a nutshell POV creep, inadvertent or otherwise. Causes & political parties aside, admins need to focus on actual disruption, not perceived - disruption does not mean an opposing view - it means disruption - basically stuff like edit warring. Leave the TPs alone - let editors discuss as long as they don't screw-up the article! If there are blatant PAs, then step in...simple. Why is it so difficult? Again, my apologies for sounding-off. Eggishorn said it much more eloguently (and that's why he's such a great closer - most of the time. 😊) Atsme 💬 📧 20:44, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Wikieditor19920Edit

It's baffling that this is even up for re-discussion. The on-Wiki communications between the two editors and reversions in tandem were specifically meant to do a technical end run around WP:DS limits on reversions. Had any other user engaged in this behavior, it would've led to a sanction, but favoritism and bias lead not only to a ridiculously soft warning at WP:AE, but admins actively trying to overturn even that empty warning. The standards for conduct on Wikipedia are slipping towards being entirely meaningless for a small circle of editors, including Objective3000 and Mandruss, who've been editing for a sufficient period of time are friendly with the right parties. These political games and bending of the rules are what turns people away from the site. Wikieditor19920 (talk) 21:51, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Quite a "nice" comment from @Bishonen:, who's totally ignored whether or not the warning was justified in light of the evidence and simply attacked any editor critical of O3000. Black Kite's comment about only "conservative editors" having a problem with blatant tagteaming is equally ridiculous.
I've seen this exact same behavior of repeatedly reverting without accounting for objections from Objective3000 at other AP-32 articles, as with Mandruss at the Donald Trump article with regard to changes to the lead. To frame this open coordination in skirting 1RR as an aberration does not ring true, and the excuses being touted ("he's a great editor anyway!" "He was 'right' on the content issue!" "The only editors who have a problem with what he did have an agenda!" "He made the violation in good faith!") are embarrassingly thin. Why is it being assumed that Objective3000 was correct on the content issue? Where was the consensus to establish as much?
If any newbie editor or someone perceived as "wrong" made those excuses, they'd be laughed out of the room. But as I pointed out, this kind of stuff is too often swept under the rug for certain editors. El_C at least tried to be objective and strike a balance in the "warning," which included far too many qualifications IMO, but Awilley is refusing to even acknowledge the violation and is acting more like an advocate rather than a neutral party. Wikieditor19920 (talk) 13:58, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
The defiant statement by Mandruss here confirms everything I said and worse. A few months ago, I attempted to alter wording in the lead of Donald Trump to attribute statements recently made in the press. Mandruss persistently and repeatedly reverted me and other editors who attempted to make the change, waived off objections with an air of authority and self-assuredness, and refused to engage in any collaborative discussion. This is a user who is not interested in working with others and only respects rules where they see the other editor as deserving of their respect (presumably agreeing with them). WP:NOTHERE much? This is an abhorrent attitude and behavior, and it should be completely unacceptable that Objective3000 would enable that behavior by openly tagteaming to avoid the rules.
It is shameful that some admins defend or overlook this superior attitude and conduct—some editors believe they are above the rules, and because of the bad judgment of some administrators who refuse to sanction them for it, they are right. Not only should the warning issued by El_C not be revisited, there should be sanctions for both editors on the table. Note that Mandruss committed a double DS violation here - first the 1RR, and then tag-teaming. I would attribute the 1RR to O3000 as well, since that's typically how tagteaming is viewed. Wikieditor19920 (talk) 17:25, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by RhododendritesEdit

Against my better judgment, I'm editing ARCA for the first time, not because I have a strong opinion about this particular case but because I've been thinking about sock/meat puppetry a lot lately and find the way our WP:MEAT policy is being interpreted here curious.

My understanding of tag teaming, which is a variety of meat puppetry, is that it's not when one person who already edits an article in good faith tries to deescalate a situation by offering to take ownership of an edit (one which they may well have made anyway) from someone else who already edits the article in good faith.

If Mandruss went to the talk page instead of editing again and said "this edit should be reverted because XYZ, but I can't," and O3000 saw that and said "ok, I'll do it," would we still be talking about meat puppetry? It seems like standard coordination on a talk page -- the sort that's especially necessary when there are article-level restrictions. If the difference has to do only with the way O3000 phrased it rather than any practical or intentional difference, I'm not sure that's a road we want to go down. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 22:48, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Black KiteEdit

I agree in thinking that O3000 was acting in good faith here. Let's face it, if another editor had reverted Mandruss's edit and O3000 had reverted back, there would be no issue here. The really ironic thing is that, looking above, there are some more right-leaning editors criticising O3000 here despite the fact that they removed excessive negative information from the lead of Trump's article. If I was a cynic, I'd say that they're basing their comments on who did the reverting rather than the actual circumstances and specific content. Black Kite (talk) 22:47, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by BishonenEdit

@CaptainEek: Your comment implies that O3000 by posting a "retired" template 'threw a fit' and 'threw his toys out of the pram' (venerable Wikipedia clichés that do no credit to your sense of style). That's shameful in my opinion. If you didn't intend that implication, please take more care when you write.

@El C: You say "As for it constituting a "blemish" on their record — all Objective3000 would have to do if someone were to try to use it against them would be to quote me saying that it wasn't intended as such. Which is why I said it, in the 1st place." It would be a lot more useful to say it in the log, IMO. Really a lot. I know the log entry is already long, but you could have said it instead of "Sorry for the unusual length of this log entry", because, you know, what use is that?

The amount of assumption of bad faith towards Mandruss, O3000, El C, admins in general, and the entirety of Wikipedia in Wikieditor19920's comment above leaves a bad taste. Everybody can comment here, no doubt, and so we get some low-water marks. Unless an arb or clerk feels like drawing the line somewhere? Bishonen | tålk 23:06, 9 January 2021 (UTC).

Statement by DGGEdit

This is an excellent illustration of the dilemmas that will be produced by any system that provides a first-mover (or second-mover) advantage. DS is the worst of them, but even 3RR can do that, and even our basic BRD procedure. The fairness of these systems depends upon preventing one contributor maneuvering to put the other at the wrong end of the advantage. At present any POV editor who realizes how they work can sometimes manage to do that, unless up against an equally clever opponent. Ensuring that the encyclopedia has NPOV content should not be a game of this sort. DGG ( talk ) 17:45, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

actually, DS as extended by the sort of restrictions that Awilley was at first using is even worse than ordinary DS. DS has at least some history of interpretation to clarify its meaning. Idiosyncratic restrictions by individual admins greatly widens the possibilities for unfairness and the difficulties of interpretation. (I want to recognize that Awillley is no longer using some of the restrictions that have previously been discussed) . I'm sure his motivation was an attempt to find a more equitable procedure, so it was a reasonable try at innovation-- but the reason DS has stayed around so long is that finding a replacement has not been easy. But this has been so much recently that I think there will be some suggestions. DGG ( talk ) 18:13, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement Plea for Sanity by EggishornEdit

Oh for <insert deity here>'s sake, people, it was a warning! warning: NOUN 1: statement or event that indicates a possible or impending danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation. Not a sanction nor a block nor a ban. Nothing more than a: "Please don't do this again." There is no reason to treat this as the wiki-Trial of the Century and throw any of these accusations and animosities around. I wonder if this is our version of the Bike Shed Principle; we know we can't personally do much about those <insert collective insult here> in Washington/ Sacramento/ Canberra/ wherever but we can be damned sure we'll treat the project as if lives depended on our edits. Reality check: Nobody's life depends on our edits. That editors are taking them as seriously as this discussion does is way out of whack with the reality we see around us. Chill. Go outside. Take a breath. Nobody's reputation was permanently besmirched before this mess began and it shouldn't be now. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:37, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Mr ErnieEdit

This is one of the more trivial "sanctions" I've seen in AP2 enforcement, especially for what is a clear cut DS violation. The action seems well within El_C's discretion especially given the comments of the other commenting administrators. I and others have long called for a rework of the restrictions in AP2, but until that happens they ought to be enforced evenly. Mr Ernie (talk) 15:05, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

I am always astounded at Tryptofish’s ability to bring up a banned editor they used to be I-ban’d with and grave danced over, for no obvious reason or point, at many discussions they participate in. Mr Ernie (talk) 22:43, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by Tryptofish (O3000)Edit

I've been thinking about the first paragraph of Bishonen's statement above, and I agree with what she said there. In this ARCA, there is no serious claim that O3000 is a long-term abuser who has tried the community's patience one time too many. The range of opinions goes approximately from it having been something for which a warning was justified, to it having been something where the warning should be vacated, but in any case there is a consensus that overall O3000 has been a valued member of the community. As such, CaptainEek, I'm troubled by your language about fit throwing and toys from a pram. Although I don't want to blow it out of proportion, I would ask that you reconsider the way that you said it. Wikipedia is suffering from a coarsening of the language that editors use when speaking of one another, and from a lack of sensitivity to when an editor is genuinely and in good faith upset. I would hope that Arbitrators would seek to set a good example. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:03, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Thank you, CaptainEek. That was well-said.   --Tryptofish (talk) 21:22, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Having looked at this some more, I think it's really sad that multiple editors, and particularly O3000, have been made to feel badly because what they wanted to do was to keep to the spirit of WP:BLP when doing so ran up against the mechanical format of 1RR. It seems that en-Wiki has reached the stage where "1RR under DS is a bright line and so we must always act, no room for discretion or communication" has taken priority over "BLP means we should not keep crap in mainspace". El C, you probably remember when, at an AE (about someone whose AE history is predictably misrepresented in another statement here), you issued a 2-way IBAN to me and that other person, and told me that all I had to do was to send people who criticized me to you, and you would tell them not to hold it against me. Sounds familiar in this context, doesn't it? And AE pretty soon thereafter reversed it for me and made it 1-way. Seems like something that is becoming ripe for a re-think. I'd like O3000 to hear my good wishes to him, and El C to hear my encouragement to make the fixes he has already mentioned, and for all of us to wrap this up and treat one another better than we have been doing. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:08, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
El C, thanks for those comments, which I appreciate. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:40, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by JzGEdit

The word "uprecedented" is often overused, but I think it applies to the current environment. People are acting in good faith, with a perceived urgency that is heightened by a political environment for which we have no templates, no past experience.

I believe the correct response here is that everybody was doing their best, and there should be no indelible consequences for any of it. IMO Newyorkbrad is exactly correct, and we should be very careful right now not to do things with lasting consequences for long-term productive members of the community who are clearly acting in good faith.

To err is human and to attribute malice virtually inescapable when it's almost impossible not to have an opinion on the content itself, as here. I am taking time out because I have PTSD and find the present real world situation almost impossible to handle, but I want to add my no-doubt superfluous $0.02 in support of an editor with whom I often disagree but whose good faith I have never had cause to doubt. Guy (help! - typo?) 11:57, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Statement by {other-editor}Edit

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.

Warning of Objective3000: Clerk notesEdit

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • Mandruss, in discussion on clerk-l an arbitrator requested that the removal be reverted. This was because admins can take action on serious violations of policy but this one does not rise to that level.
    Clerks and arbitrators should be the only editors editing outside their section. Admins can take action in serious cases of violation of policy, but as this was deemed not serious, the admin editing outside their section was reverted. The reversion does not endorse the statements by SPECIFICO. They should have provided diffs to support their claim, and I encourage SPECIFICO to support their claims. You may of course make your case directly to arbcom at arbcom-en wikimedia.org or clerks mailing list at clerks-l lists.wikimedia.org if you wish to discuss this privately. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | my contributions 22:13, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Warning of Objective3000: Arbitrator views and discussionEdit

  • It is rare that we actually see tag teaming, but this seems a pretty clear case of it. I am aware that tag teaming is not policy, but then again, neither is WP:NOTHERE, and yet the latter is used many times daily in enforcement. The spirit of the law is more important than the letter on Wikipedia. So whats the spirit of the law? To prevent disruption. Tag teaming seems to be an especially insidious form of disruption, as it uses multiple people to act almost as one to evade our usual restrictions. I wonder, would Mandruss have self reverted had O3000 not suggested they would immediately revert the edit back? I think Mandruss and O3000 are both excellent contributors, but to evade sanction by gaming the system does not sit right with me. I also note that El C went very light here. By all rights, El C could have easily blocked both of them, but opted to just give a warning. El C also took great pains to note that this warning is not meant as a blemish. And lets be honest, what does a warning really mean? Here on Wiki, it is little more than a reminder. It may make future enforcement easier, but it has little practical impact. I am also hesitant to rescind a warning merely on the basis that it made a user quit. I am sad to see O3000 driven away, and hope they will return. However, if users know all they have to do is throw a fit retire to get a sanction removed, we'll see a lot more retirement toys being thrown out of the pram. In conclusion, I don't particularly see how this warning was wrong, and am hesitant to lift it. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 03:33, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
    • To BMK's point: on a technicality, yes only subjects of a sanction can appeal. But this is already a super technical situation, and I think we can let that slide as this has brought up a novel and relevant point of contention. Also, O3000 has nominally retired (so they can't appeal), and Mandruss seems to be appreciative of this review. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 09:26, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
      • My comments on retirement have received a fair amount of feedback. I hope O3000 reconsiders their retirement, and my aim was not to call them out: rather the practice of the "dramatic retirement" in general. We should never take an action just to appease a retiring editor or try to get them to return. If we were to do that, then retirement could be used as leverage. I think the practice of dramatic retirement is ultimately detrimental to the project, and we should not encourage it.
      • My choice of using WP:PRAM and its wording was not particularly helpful, and have changed my statement. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 21:01, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
        • Decline El C has updated the log warning, and I see nothing else to be done here. The warning was well within El C's administrative discretion, even if as Barkeep points out that is not how everyone would have closed it. There has been mention of DS reform (such as Mandruss suggesting relaxing the rules on who may appeal, and mention of the first mover advantage), and I encourage folks to keep thinking about that. I also agree with Barkeep that we should encourage consensus building at AE, but that we also need to support admins in making difficult decisions. I think we will tackle DS reform this year, but this is not the time: more preparation is needed on the committee's end first. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 20:37, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Awaiting further statements. My preliminary reaction is to say first I appreciate El C's, and other administrators', desire to maintain decorum and order on a difficult article at a difficult time. (I also say to El C that it may look like I'm piling onto you because we disagreed on an unrelated matter a few months ago, but it's just a coincidence, and it's my job to comment here.) On the substance, I believe Objective3000 was acting with good intentions and in good faith, and as El C himself observes, Objective3000's overall editing history is a positive one. El C also observes that any violation by Objective3000 took place at least "somewhat unwittingly." I consistently believe that discussion rather than a logged sanction, even a warning, is the better approach for a first, debatable alleged violation by a good-faith editor with a record of positive contributions in the topic-area. Subject to others' opinions, I am inclined to recommend that El C consider withdrawing the warning. Newyorkbrad (talk) 06:32, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
    • Still awaiting further comments, but I'm inclined to move to vacate the warnings. Newyorkbrad (talk) 05:06, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
    • After reviewing the further discussion, I vote that both warnings—even as modified by El C, which I appreciate—should be stricken from the log. However, I'm not going to make a formal motion to do that unless at least one other arbitrator agrees with me. After all, it wouldn't help alleviate the demoralization that the warnings have caused if a motion to vacate them were voted down 1 to 11. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:55, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
    • (As a side comment, I note that the useful discussion we have had here wouldn't have been possible either in RfAr or on AE because of rigid the word limits in those locations. There may be a lesson there, to be learned another day.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:55, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I think an appeal by an uninvolved admin who participated in an AE discussion is allowed - I think to say otherwise would be to further cement a first mover advantage. Considering what obligations admins have to achieve consensus is at the top of my priority list when this committee examines DS but I don't see any issue in how El C handled this under our current procedures. The formal warning is a reasonable outcome of that thread even if it isn't how I'd have closed it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:05, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Atsme: I'm confused by your most recent ARCA comment. This hadn't been appealed to the committee before. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:09, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Awilley: you are correct that there is tons to read as an arb (especially in January). Alas if only the issue here was I hadn't read everything - I did examine the diffs before making my comment. Ultimately I think for discretionary sanctions to work ArbCom needs to support administrators who are making reasonable use of their discretion. So I would not have personally warned these users and whatever comment I left I would not have formally logged. However, as an arbitrator hearing an appeal I think it would be counterproductive to substitute my judgement as long as the administrator acted with-in reasonable boundaries. I do not see El C having acted against consensus of other admins, namely because one hadn't formed, in closing this report with a warning. Our current procedures do allow for an admin to close AE requests in these circumstances. So the question, for me, becomes whether this action is with-in the bounds of normal administrator latitude. For me the answer is yes. Personally, I would like to see more of an obligation at AE for administrators to form and act with consensus when closing reports but for that to happen we need to do our broader look at DS. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:26, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
  • A few thoughts:
    Normally, Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. (Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Procedures § Standard provision: appeals and modifications) In this case, and in other cases where an uninvolved administrator at AE who voiced disagreement with the action taken brings us an ARCA appeal, I am inclined to disregard this provision and consider the third-party appeal. I'm willing to formalize this into our procedures if need be, but I'd prefer to wait for broader DS reform. Because this appeal was not brought by Objective3000, if we decline this appeal, the provision that "further substantive review at any forum is barred" should not apply.
    Objective3000 did not violate the restriction was written. However, AMPOL is a DS area, and on the whole, it was not an abuse of administrative discretion to conclude that coordination to circumvent a 1RR restriction (even if well-intentioned) is inappropriate.
    Previous committee decisions at ARCA have established that this committee will generally only reverse sanctions for abuse of administrative discretion, or something at that approximate level of review, absent exceptional circumstances. This is necessary because AE is designed to reduce the load on this committee – imagine if every AE sanction was appealed here – and so ArbCom acts mostly as a safety valve, not as a venue of first resort. Therefore, absent exceptional circumstances, we should not overturn this warning.
    Administrators should not act contrary to a clear consensus of their colleagues at AE. I don't know if the consensus in this case was clearly against the warning – a warning itself is a very light sanction. (According to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Procedures § Dismissing an enforcement request, a warning is actually not a sanction; it counts as "no action".)
    Overall, I don't know where I come down on this appeal. If El C downgraded this to "advice" ("Objective3000 is advised to ...") I would decline this appeal for sure. Right now, I'm inclined to decline this appeal without prejudice towards an appeal at AE or AN, but of course that strikes me as grossly excessive bureaucracy. It may be a good push to make explicit in our procedures that appeals to ArbCom via ARCA are generally assessed deferentially to the enforcing administrator (to reduce the number of appeals that are unfortunately resolved on procedural grounds), and that appeals from sanctions imposed at AE can still be appealed at AE (especially if administrators at AE were opposed to the original sanction). Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 21:43, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
    • I also want to note to Objective3000 that I deeply appreciate your work and am sorry that you've been caught in the crosshairs of an ARCA that I would resolve mostly on procedural grounds. An AE warning does not reflect on the quality of your contributions to this area or to the project, and my sincere hope is that this warning will not continue to discourage you from editing. If you need to take a break from Wikipedia, I completely understand – but I look forward to seeing you back when you're up for it. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 21:50, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
      • Insofar as this request is not already withdrawn (Awilley seems to indicate they are satisfied), I would decline to take action on this appeal as the underlying action falls within administrative discretion, with thanks to all for accommodating this process. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 10:39, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Largely "per Kevin". This is much ado about very little, and what little there is was well within administrative discretion. El C has been transparent about not wanting this logging to constitute a stain on Objective3000's record, and I appreciate the willingness to further moderate the language in the log. I'm inclined to decline. --BDD (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
    @Awilley: I was aware of the context, but don't begrudge your request for further comment. Besides echoing Barkeep's response, I'll say that a high-profile BLP is indeed a reason for everyone to act more cautiously. The language on the article has settled to something acceptable, and that's just how the encyclopedia works. Sometimes, even when you're right, you need to step back and leave it to someone else. The language Mandruss removed was overly strong and UNDUE, but not the sort of obviously defamatory material whose removal justifies ignoring a 1RR restriction.
While I really wish we could leave this at "so inconsequential that normally [you] would ignore it", I'll leave the door open for you to elaborate on why a diff showing a removal from Mandruss would be your preferred "if you look at nothing else" in a request to remove a warning to another editor. I want to keep an open mind here and to acknowledge that there may be angles I haven't considered, but I think there's a very steep hill to climb if you're trying to argue El C's action wasn't within the acceptable bounds of an administrator's discretion. --BDD (talk) 21:49, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Formally decline now that it appears we're at a satisfactory resolution. --BDD (talk) 15:21, 14 January 2021 (UTC)