Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) — Workshop (Talk) — Proposed decision (Talk)

Case clerk: Hahc21 (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Worm That Turned (Talk) & David Fuchs (Talk)

Case Opened on 17:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Case Closed on 00:20, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 20:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

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

Please do not edit this page unless you are an Arbitrator or Clerk, or are making yourself a party to this case. Statements on this page are copies of the statements submitted in the original request to arbitrate this dispute, and serve as verbatim copies; as such, they should never be changed. (In the case of lengthy statements, an excerpt only may be given here, in which case the full copy will be added to the talk page—where any statements by uninvolved editors during the Requests phase will also be saved.) Any evidence you wish to provide to the Arbitrators should be added to the /Evidence subpage.

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

Once the case is closed, editors may add to the #Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions as needed, but the other content of this page should not be edited. Please raise any questions about this decision at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment, any general questions at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee, and report violations of remedies to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement.

Case information

Involved parties

Requests for comment

Preliminary statements

Statement by Ched

I don't really know how to do this, and I don't know who to name as parties to the case. Still, I think at least some of the committee members are aware of the issues involved with the infobox situations. There are multiple RfC discussion to link to, and many threads available should the committee be willing to look at a case. In particular I would ask that the committee view the thoughts of the people active in the classical music area as a beginning point. I understand that it is not within the committees remit to determine content, but rather to resolve disruption. Said disruption can easily be demonstrated in an evidence stage. I ask the committee to assist me in determining the scope and parties of this case. — Ched :  ?  07:23, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

  • disclaimer: I like infoboxes, so I do have a "side" that I favor. I will try to dig up some RfC diffs so that the Arbs can see that the community has tried to deal with this (and failed). — Ched :  ?  17:51, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I am going to list some diffs that Sjones dug up:
  • To answer your question, the Classical Music and Composers project feel that the infoboxes there are "counter-productive" to be used in articles without discussing it first on the talk page. To quote the Composers WikiProject's stance on biographical infoboxes, "We think it is normally best, therefore, to avoid infoboxes altogether for classical musicians, and we prefer to add an infobox to an article only following consensus for that inclusion on the article's talk page. Particular care should be taken with Featured Articles as these have been carefully crafted according to clear consensus on their talkpages. (See the Request for Comment about composers' infoboxes and earlier infobox debates.)" There were numerous discussions about these matters at these projects. The infobox debates date way back to 2007. The following differences is a set of discussions on the use of the infoboxes from some of the WikiProjects in question: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] (scroll down) [6] [7], [8], [9],[10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26] [27]. Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 04:01, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • further: I have spoken via email with former Arb member User talk:Iridescent who has advised me as to possible "parties" to this case. Some of those people I do consider "wiki friends", but if Iri does not object - then I will name them. I am also in frequent contact with former Arb User:Rlevse (now PumpkinSky), who I consider a VERY close friend. I've now asked the committee to look at this, and I am fully willing to answer any and all questions put to me. At this point I will allow the process to move forward. — Ched :  ?  18:47, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • reference: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-07-10/Dispatch
  • I replied to Giano here
  • at everyone: It should be noted that English is not the first language of Gerda. Gerda is from Germany, and I think it is important to note that "English" is not her native language, — Ched :  ?  23:36, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • @ Giano, it's a fair question, but I honestly don't know how to answer it. I don't like seeing people get blocked or banned from things they enjoy. I also like Andy, although I don't edit in the areas mentioned. My own personal choice is to grant preferences to any original and/or principle author when it comes to formatting and infoboxes. There's nothing in policy that says that, just my own choice. I don't know how to resolve the situation; which is why I am looking to the Arb committee to find a way forward here. I'm not trying to avoid your question, it's just that I really don't know a good answer. — Ched :  ?  14:16, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Comment from Gerda Arendt (possibly involved)

On top of what Orlady described above, the latest development (which possibly made uninvolved Ched post) goes even further than biographies of classical music composers and performers. Project opera developed an infobox for operas, {{infobox opera}}, added to the MOS on 18 June. It complies with the Signpost article's request for brevity. However, almost every effort to actually use it is met with removal and time-consuming discussions, instead of showing it to our readers and let them participate in discussion and improvement. I was involved in creating the template and in inserting it. For an example, read talk (and history of article and talk) of Don Carlos. For more examples, look at the list of open discussions. I actually don't know what ArbCom could do to stop this, in the interest of our readers. I made several attempts to seek agreement, last here. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:03, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

@Resolute: you mentioned names, including mine. I have great respect for Nikkimaria, we found an agreement during the last AN/I exchange, she respects my wish for an infobox in "my" articles, I respect her wish for no infobox in "her" articles, we created The Company of Heaven together (no infobox). I have great respect for Andy, he helped me with {{infobox Bach composition}}, and we create articles together, did you know (with infobox)? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:33, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
@Toccata quarta: I see the present "project specialties" in conflict with site consistency; restrictions seem to serve the interests of the writers more than the readers. Readers expect to see an infobox in the upper right corner. For most composers, they see only a picture (there are exceptions), for most operas, they see a sidebar navbox, which in cases of prolific composers such as Richard Wagner duplicates information that is also in the footer navbox, information which is the same for all his operas, nothing about the specific work. - Composer: I believe that an infobox doesn't "damage" an article (the term has been used). For composers with a wealth of information in a footer navbox, it could simply supply dates and locations of birth and death, to provide a quick information about historic and geographic context, - suggested for George Frideric Handel. Opera: compare Carmen as it is to Carmen as it can be. In short: I would like to see restrictions go that prevent to consistently inform the readers. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:18, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
@Smerus: I have high respect for you as an editor, author of FA Richard Wagner, and I thank you for a GA review of my BWV 103 (with an infobox). I have to correct some of your descriptions of my actions.
  • "Ms. Arendt makes, without consultation, edits ..." - 1) everybody here can call me Gerda. 2) It reads as if I made those edits to articles. Composers: I did not add an infobox to a "controversial" composer. Opera: I didn't think infoboxes supported by the project would be considered "controversial".
  • "... then feigns hurt innocence and surprise in her responses ..." - 1) I was honestly (!) surprised by some responses, I must say, and ask those who have no idea to actually read one or two of those "discussions" and not go by a summary. 2) "innocence" implies that there is a guilt, - sorry, I don't feel "guilty" of suggesting an infobox on an article's talk.
I don't want to waste everybody's time by going into more detail, there would be much more. Andy is just back from hospital and can't respond as he would wish to do. If you allow me also a summary: I found his contributions in the discussions factual and to the point. He did not breach a topic ban. AN clarification: he is not banned from any talk page. He is not employed as Wikipedians in Residence. What else? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:05, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
@EdChem thank you --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:09, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
@Giano: the experience you describe, what date is it? I came late to the discussions, and - repeating - the contributions of Andy (whose surname is Mabbett) seemed much less "heated" than those of others, - please look yourself. Also repeating: even without him, you would still have to deal with me ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:35, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
@Laser brain: please give me one example of what you consider "disruptive behaviour" from 2013. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:04, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@Folantin: Can you tell me how the Wagner discussion would have profited from Andy's absence? (Remember: it was NOT about an infobox for the article.) - Can you tell me where I or Andy or anybody else requested a mandatory infobox? - Can you show me one instance of "imposing infoboxes" in 2013? - Please read above what I said above about the heat in arguments. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@Ewulp: The five arguments for infoboxes that I see are shown in my link above. They are different from the ones you see. - Another user recently expressed his belief in the infobox having to summarize the article. Wrong. (The belief is wrong. The request would mean asking too much from the infobox.) It only has to sumarize key facts. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:40, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@SPhilbrick: Many good questions. I don't know if anybody noticed, but I started following a voluntary 1RR rule on opera infoboxes, although I think that these boxes - just introduced by the project - should be shown to the readers, not only talk page readers and article history readers. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:47, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@Anthonyhcole: I don't share your view that it is simple. Please give me one example of the behaviour problem you allude to in 2013.
@NW: your wording "ban the worst offenders" reminds me of "arrest the usual suspects". As one of them, I urge you to go beyond suspicion, to facts, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:56, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
@Sjones23: Please note that I have high respect for Tim riley, won him back to the project, work with him and am proud to be considered helpful by him [28], [29]. Tim asked Andy for help with an infobox, asked about his health and greeted him on his return, - if we had more of that attitude the "problem" was solved. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Comment by Kleinzach

In June, I discovered Ched's draft userspace RfC - Infobox and wrote to him as follows:

Excuse me gatecrashing. I recently discovered this draft Rfc and I have many concerns, not least that it specifically targets classical music editors. It seems to have been framed from the 'metapedian' point of view that community harmony, structural uniformity etc. are of overriding importance rather than the competing 'exopedian' view that we are trying to publish correct information and serve the reader. For example. the introductory section, 'Scope', doesn't even mention the encyclopedia.
Participants in the drafting also seem to be largely from the 'metapedian' camp. AFAIK none of the editors with reservations about the application of infoboxes, who have participated in previous debates and Rfcs, were invited to take part or found the draft. Nor are any of the 'moderates' — the people who are broadly pro metadata but who recognise publishing issues — involved. So it seems more of a referendum, crafted to achieve a particular result, than a genuine Rfc. I think it would cause even more fighting, rather than lead to improved consensus. I hope it can be dropped.
WikiProject Composers is now on its last legs. There are only about a dozen active editors left from what was a dynamic, high quality project around 2007-2008. Launching an Rfc targeting classical music will present editors with the choice of participating in yet another gargantuan time sink or looking for the exit. If they are rational, they'll opt for the latter. Once again, I think it would be better not to proceed with this. It's simply the wrong approach. Thank you and regards. Kleinzach 23:30, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

This is essentially my view of this Arbcom initiative as well.

For the record, I am placing here a list of box-related debates involving music that have occurred over the past six months or so. (This list does not include similar discussions about the visual arts, architecture etc.) I hope uninvolved editors can read, or at least scan, some of the discussions in order to understand the issues. IMO they are significant and may well affect the future style, authority and accuracy of the encyclopaedia, as well as the continued involvement of many hitherto productive editors.

Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents (ANI)

User pages

Classical Music Project

Composition articles

Composer articles

Opera articles


Templates for deletion (TFD)

Kleinzach 02:18, 13 July 2013 (UTC) List updated. Kleinzach 03:28, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Comment from Smerus (apparently involved)

I see that my name has been invoked by the bemused Edchem.

Over the past year or so in particular, a series of disputes has arisen concerning the adoption of infoboxes in articles relating to classical music. This appears to me to have been driven by two editors in particular; there has been, for example, no series of comments from Wikipedia users demanding that classical music articles must have infoboxes. The two editors concerned are Gerda Arendt and Andy Mabbett. Their styles are different. Ms. Arendt makes, without consultation, edits and changes which she knows (by now) will be provocative and annoying to some editors, and then feigns hurt innocence and surprise in her responses. She is frequently then supported in her efforts by Mr. Mabbett, whose style is distinctly more nasty and brutal (but alas not short). When User:Johnuniq writes that ‘The editors involved are expert at being civil’, he is clearly not reading Mr. Mabbett’s threads. Quite often a bunch of usual suspects, like Mr.Mabbett unknown as music article editors, follow him into these frays, adopting the same egregious style. The ‘arguments’ normally turn on the supposed necessity or inevitability of having infoboxes; dissenting opinions (e.g. those which query the actual value of an infobox) are ignored. This process is quite intimidating to editors who are not equipped to, or interested in, scoring points. Some, like me, sometimes admittedly foolishly, rise to the bait. But not all of us are, like Mr. Mabbett, actually employed as Wikipedians in Residence and can devote all hours of the day to pursuing our pet crusades.

To elaborate one recent example, already raised here by Edchem, Richard Wagner. A couple of days before this was featured on the front page of WP (22 May 2013), Ms. Arendt, who knew that the article was going to be thus featured, chose to park a vast ‘sample’ Wagner infobox on the talkpage of the article. (See here). This was not, as Edchem says, ‘after a suggestion by Brad’, but was entirely Ms. Arendt’s initiative. This was a provocative moment for undertaking such a contentious edit, which soon accumulated a deal of comment from editors, including Mr. Mabbett, much of it bilious on both sides (I do not except myself, who was feeling peeved, to say the least). Ms. Arendt then, quite charmingly (credit where credit is due!), on the morning of the bicentenary posted on the talk page a compendium of Wagner ‘Do You Knows’. I therefore archived the already extensive talkpage before this item (including the ‘infobox’ and discussion), to give Ms. Arendt’s more recent edit a decent airing to article visitors. Mr. Mabbett then unilaterally unarchived the talkpage and initiated an extensive squabble. His motivation seems inexplicable except in terms of a desire to agitate. By the way, at this time (and I believe still at the present) Mr. Mabbett was under a ban from interfering with FAs when they are to be front-paged. He has speciously (in my opinion) argued in his defence that the ban didn’t mention talk-pages.

Whilst there are issues of principle involved in this topic, I in fact believe that most discussions of infoboxes on pages could be dealt with on a case by case basis (or probably wouldn’t arise at all) if the few zealots who have provoked the issue into a major battlefield in the past could desist – or be asked to desist – or perhaps even made to desist.--Smerus (talk) 07:12, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

I stand corrected by Gerda: Mr. Mabbett has been until recently a Wikipedian in Residence (in Burnley, and before that, elsewhere). I of course wish him better as an individual, whilst continuing to deprecate his aggression on Wikipedia.--Smerus (talk) 09:25, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
@ all: Of interest (and relevance).--Smerus (talk) 13:46, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Comment by Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing)

The tone of debate offered by those opposed to the use of infoboxes (at all, or in specific areas) can be measured by the disingenuous and dishonest ad hominem comments made by some editors, above, and those calling for bans who have failed time and again to demonstrate community support for such calls at ANI.

If people are being bullied into having infoboxes, why do so many of the articles in Kleinzach's list, or otherwise described as being the subject of contentious action, still not have them? (Note that he also lists three TfDs, describing one was "closed as keep". He's omitted to mention that the other two were closed as delete. I wonder why?).

I concur with those above saying there is no evidence that a case should be opened; but if there must be one, then Arbcom members are welcome to read the outcomes of the RfC called by members of the classical music project a while ago (also missing from Kleinzach's list), not least "Infoboxes are not to be added nor removed systematically from [classical music-related] articles. Such actions would be considered disruptive.", and to determine who has, or has not, abided by them.

Proposals to give effective vetos to "primary authors" (how is that to be measured?) or to self-appointed projects are orthogonal to core Wikipedia values, not least WP:OWN. Attempts to define a super-class of editors who are above others, likewise.

I'm inclined to agree with Mark Arsten; a centralised RfC is the proper approach. For a year or more, I've been inviting those opposed to infoboxes to call one to demonstrate support for their claims of consensus, but they have never done so. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:06, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Preliminary decision

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • The four-net-votes clock started at 19:53, 15 July 2013. Unless two or more arbitrators decline, this case is expected to be opened by 19:53, 16 July 2013. — ΛΧΣ21 03:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Infoboxes: Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter <7/0/2/1>

  • I haven't the slightest idea what this request is about; that said, Ched, since this is your first AR, you may ask a clerk for assistance to format it correctly. Salvio Let's talk about it! 12:01, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
  • From reading too many ANI threads, I know all too well what the request is about. Awaiting further statements before voting. It would be helpful if statements could address, at least in general terms, how ArbCom might help resolve this longstanding problem if we accept the case (which based on how long this has been going on, I am tentatively inclined to do). Newyorkbrad (talk) 14:34, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I've made a trivial edit to the casename ("Infobox" --> "Infoboxes"). Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:36, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Accept. A few months ago, I was asked my general philosophy of when this Committee should accept a request for arbitration. My response at the time was that we should often decline requests for arbitration that arise from isolated incidents that might otherwise be forgotten within a few days unless an arbitration case perpetuates them; but that we should be more willing to accept requests originating from continuing issues that are resulting in long-term problems, where there is reason to think we could help find a solution. This request very clearly falls into the latter category, and at least some of the parties think an arbitration decision might help. Given that years of discussion all over the wiki have not produced a community solution, I think it falls to us to take the case. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:50, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Awaiting more statements. What we need, and if the clerks and others can help construct this, it would be nice, is a list of the "actual" parties, as it can't be presumed that the notifications on the Wikiproject talk pages will reach all, or even most, of those involved. Courcelles 17:44, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Accept This could fairly be called a "kitchen sink" dispute; everything has been tried, and it is still an ongoing issue, with no real conclusion in sight, save an arbitration case. Courcelles 23:10, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I sympathize a lot with what has been said that there is a place for ArbCom to intervene here, but I also think that Kleinzach is correct, this seems like it has the potential to drive off a lot of contributors for what I frankly do not see being a very good decision. We can implicitly take sides here by banning a couple of the worst offenders, but frankly, as MastCell points out, that's only going to fix the veneer. Right now, the only option I see having a decent chance of working is summary disposition of the matter by expedited case that would impose bans for past behavior without the usual process of determining who was the worst offender. It will be an unfair decision, but it might stop some of the bleeding. It's not going to solve the dispute, but neither would a motion admonishing people to behave better. NW (Talk) 13:53, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Accept, there's clearly a long history here and it does appear to have risen to the level of an intractable dispute which cannot been solved by the community. WormTT(talk) 15:12, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Accept, it's clear this has not proceeded anywhere productive in the many months it has simmered. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 02:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry that I'm late to the party. Accept to examine conduct of all involved, and perhaps to steer the actual meta-content dispute toward a resolution. AGK [•] 20:13, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Recuse. Kirill [talk] 01:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Recuse. Risker (talk) 02:44, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Accept though I may well be inactive for key parts of this case,  Roger Davies talk 06:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Final decision

All tallies are based the votes at /Proposed decision, where comments and discussion from the voting phase is also available.


Purpose of Wikipedia

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. Anyone may edit, use, modify and distribute the content for any purpose and the re-use of the information should be facilitated, where it is not detrimental to the encyclopedia.

Passed 9 to 0 at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Editorial process

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

Passed 9 to 0 at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


3) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other users. Unseemly conduct, such as personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, harassment, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, is prohibited. Making unsupported accusations of such misconduct by other editors, particularly where this is done in repeatedly or in a bad-faith attempt to gain an advantage in a content dispute, is also unacceptable.

Passed 9 to 0 at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


4) Wikipedia works by building consensus through the use of polite discussion. The dispute resolution process is designed to assist consensus-building when normal talk page communication has not worked. Sustained editorial conflict is not an appropriate method of resolving disputes.

Passed 9 to 0 at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


5) Wikipedia's mission is to build an encyclopedia that can be modified and distributed freely. To facilitate access to this information, we should provide as few barriers to its use and dissemination as possible. Additional information, such as metadata, aligns with the goals of the encyclopedia where it is not detrimental to our content or our scope.

Passed 5 to 4, with 1 abstention at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Levels of consensus

7) Where there is a global consensus to edit in a certain way, it should be respected and cannot be overruled by a local consensus. However, on subjects where there is no global consensus, a local consensus should be taken into account.

Passed 9 to 0 at 00:09, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Findings of fact

Locus of dispute

1.1) This case arises from a series of disputes concerning whether and when Wikipedia articles should include infoboxes. Because there is no project-wide policy governing when infoboxes should be used, disagreements concerning their inclusion arise with some regularity. These disagreements are sometimes resolved as they should be, through collegial discussion and consensus, but too often the consensus-building process has broken down, in a fashion that has been extremely demoralizing to many editors. Reasons for such breakdowns include:

  • It is not clear how infobox disputes are to be resolved (e.g. if 5 editors favor including an infobox in a given article and 5 disfavor it, there is no default rule and no policy guidance for determining how the consensus is to be determined, so the dispute continues indefinitely).
  • It is not clear to what degree, if any, the views of editors with a particular connection to an article (e.g., the editor who created the article or knowledgeable members of a relevant wikiproject) should be accorded any added weight in such discussions, nor is it clear how the potential desirability in uniformity of formatting across articles of a common type should be weighed.
  • A small number of editors have repeatedly behaved poorly and in a polarizing fashion in infobox-related editing and discussions.
Passed 7 to 1, with 2 abstentions at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Use of infoboxes

2) The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article by site policies or guidelines. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article.

Passed 10 to 0 at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


3) Pigsonthewing (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) (also known as Andy Mabbett) has had a long history of editing articles with the focus on adding or modifying infoboxes, and has been previously banned from editing the day's feature article (TFA) [30] as well as sanctioned in Arbitration cases; he was banned for one year in 2006 by amendment to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pigsonthewing and for an additional year in 2007 in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Pigsonthewing 2.

Passed 10 to 0 at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Pigsonthewing's contribution to discussions

4) Pigsonthewing's contributions to discussions about the inclusion of infoboxes are generally unhelpful and tend to inflame the situation.[31][32][33] He also selectively chooses what discussions he considers consensus[34].

Passed 10 to 0 at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


5) Nikkimaria (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has repeatedly edit warred to remove infoboxes without helpful edit summaries.[35][36][37][38] On two occasions the edit war led to her being blocked.[39] She has frequently sniped at Pigsonthewing and other editors she disagrees with in infobox-related discussions.[40]

Passed 9 to 0, with 1 abstention at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Gerda Arendt

6) Gerda Arendt (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has added infoboxes to many articles systematically,[41] and without prior discussion.[42], including articles where she knew or should have known that adding an infobox would be controversial.

Passed 9 to 1 at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


7) Smerus (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) has degraded the quality of infobox discussions.[43][44][45]

Passed 8 to 2 at 00:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


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

Pigsonthewing and infoboxes

1.1) Pigsonthewing is indefinitely banned from adding, or discussing the addition or removal of, infoboxes.

Passed 7 to 3 at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Rescinded on review at 21:10, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Nikkimaria admonished

2.1) For edit warring with Pigsonthewing, Nikkimaria is admonished to behave with the level of professionalism expected of an administrator.

Passed 6 to 3, with 1 abstention at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Gerda Arendt restricted

3.2) Gerda Arendt is indefinitely restricted from: adding or deleting infoboxes; restoring an infobox that has been deleted; or making more than two comments in discussing the inclusion or exclusion of an infobox on a given article. They may participate in wider policy discussions regarding infoboxes with no restriction, and include infoboxes in new articles which they create.

Passed 6 to 4 at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Superseded by motion at 20:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC).

Gerda Arendt admonished

3.3) Gerda Arendt is admonished for treating Wikipedia as if it were a battleground and advised to better conduct themselves.

Passed 6 to 1 at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Smerus reminded

Smerus (talk · contribs) is reminded to conduct himself in a civil manner.

Passed 7 to 3, with 1 abstention at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Editors reminded

5) All editors are reminded to maintain decorum and civility when engaged in discussions about infoboxes, and to avoid turning discussions about a single article's infobox into a discussion about infoboxes in general.

Passed 10 to 0 at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Community discussion recommended

6) The Arbitration Committee recommends that a well-publicized community discussion be held to address whether to adopt a policy or guideline addressing what factors should weigh in favor of or against including an infobox in a given article.

Passed 7 to 1, with 1 abstention at 00:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

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

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

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications
Appeals by sanctioned editors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important notes:

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


Motion (May 2015)

I) Remedy 3.2 of the Infoboxes case is suspended.

II) For a six-month period Gerda Arendt may not add or restore, except for the usual exemptions, an Infobox to any article she did not create, without first either a) obtaining a clear consensus to do so on the article talkpage, or b) her proposal on the article talk page attracting no comments for 72 hours.

III) During this six-month period, she must not, in the opinion of a consensus of administrators at the Arbitration Enforcement noticeboard, disrupt any discussion concerning infoboxes.

IV) Gerda Arendt may be blocked for violation of parts II and III. Any such block shall cause remedy 3.2 to be unsuspended; if this is done, the blocking administrator must make the committee aware.

V) If after six months Gerda Arendt has not been blocked under this motion, remedy 3.2 as well as this motion shall automatically lapse.
Passed 7 to 0 by motion at 20:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions

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

Review case