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A request for arbitration is the last step of dispute resolution for conduct disputes on Wikipedia. The Arbitration Committee considers requests to open new cases and review previous decisions. The entire process is governed by the arbitration policy. For information about requesting arbitration, and how cases are accepted and dealt with, please see guide to arbitration.

To request enforcement of previous Arbitration decisions or discretionary sanctions, please do not open a new Arbitration case. Instead, please submit your request to /Requests/Enforcement.

This page transcludes from /Case, /Clarification and Amendment, /Motions, and /Enforcement.

Please make your request in the appropriate section:

Current requests

Unapproved admin bots

Initiated by Prodego talk at 19:08, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Involved parties

Confirmation that all parties are aware of the request`
Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried

Statement by Prodego

For the past several years, the subject of 'adminbots' has been a touchy one on Wikipedia. There is a common perception that these adminbots are opposed by the 'ZOMGADMINBOT' crowd[1], who are worried about evil admin bot overlords taking over the wiki. Unfortunately, this attitude overshadows the legitimate complaints with admin bots, and more specifically unauthorized admin bots. Unlike all other unauthorized bots, unauthorized admin bots are often ignored, instead of being blocked, as policy prescribes.[2][3] I think that this situation touches on some very important issues, including: (1) a different treatment of admins simply because they are admins (2) following a consensus among a minority that that is unable to gain wider consensus to change the policies to simply allow these types of bots (3) users taking the attitude that they are 'above' policy, or that it does not apply to them (4) lack of respect for the policies that have developed over time. Particularly in regards to this 4th point, is important to remember that policy is not law. However, if attempts have been made to change a policy, and they have repeatedly failed, simply ignoring the policy is not an acceptable line of action, it is disruption. Ignoring all rules is a great way to allow unanticipated and productive edits that would normally be against policy, but it is not intended to be applied against a policy that is already in place, and that has already developed a consensus on the exact issue for which you wish to ignore it. The users listed above have all admitted to running an unauthorized adminbot in some form[4][5][6][7][8], and (quoting Misza13) "will not request any approval simply because... the bot already is approved, authorized or whatever you call it and operaties[sic] within policy. If that policy is IAR." I find disregarding an established and well followed bot request procedure simply because you don't personally find it necessary to be a problem, and I hope that the arbcom will resolve this issue. I declined to simply block these users as policy suggests, under advice from a number of users, who suggested I file an arbitration case instead. I hope that the arbcom can solve this long term contentious user conduct issue once and for all. Thank you.

  1. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:RFC/ZOMGADMINBOTS&oldid=224504514
  2. ^ "bots operating without approval or outside their approval" -WP:BLOCK
  3. ^ "Accounts performing automated tasks without prior approval may be summarily blocked by any administrator" -WP:BOT
  4. ^ User:MZMcBride/Adminbots
  5. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Prodego&diff=next&oldid=238927109
  6. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Prodego&diff=next&oldid=238955947
  7. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Misza13&diff=238994675&oldid=238912168
  8. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Lovering&diff=prev&oldid=238916041


Simply put: If I can't follow policy, what is the point of policy. I would like the arbcom to implicitly or explicitly decide if it is justified, in this case, to disregard policy, as these users have, for what seems to me to be no reason other than that they don't feel like getting their bots approved. The alternative was to block Misza and file an RfAR on should anyone unblock, for violating the blocking policy. If necessary I can do that, is that what you would like? Additionally this is not about admin bots they are good. This is about unapproved admin bots we do have approved admin bots. Prodego talk 21:31, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Cyde Weys

Admin bots have been common practice for, what, over two years now? I don't see what arbitration will achieve. Rewrite the policy to reflect current practice and be done with it. --Cyde Weys 19:16, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, I found some links, if anyone feels like reading up on some of the previous situations where this has come up. It never hit arbitration before, though.

And it's come up on my talk page a couple of times too, but I'll spare you all of that. --Cyde Weys 21:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

@Majorly:
Saying "false positives should never happen" is a utopian ideal at odds with reality. There are false positives (and false negatives) in every industry; the trick is to make them as infrequent as possible. Incidentally, when tasks are trivially automated (such as the CFD tasks my bot does), the error rate goes way down when they are handed over to a robot. The comparison here is against the human, and humans are far from perfect, especially when drudging through mind-numbing, tedious, and repetitive tasks. I made a lot more mistakes when I was handling CFD tasks manually than my CFD bot does now. Ever consider why, when a manufacturing process requires really tight tolerances, it inevitably comes down to a robot doing the precision work? --Cyde Weys 21:36, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by (uninvolved) CBM

There has been ongoing discussion about the issue of adminbots at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Adminbots. A change was proposed in the bot policy some time ago [6], and yesterday I removed the "proposed" sticker. It seems to me that (1) the issue here is that the bot policy has been out of sync for a long time, as descriptive policies often are, and (2) that problem is being resolved through discussion already. For the record, although I am familiar with bots and adminbots, I don't run any adminbots. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:27, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Re Carcharoth: the 'proposed' tag was added again. The main point of disagreement at the moment seems to be how to deal with existing admin bots; I don't think anyone has objected (yet?) to the part about future adminbots being approved by BAG. The discussion is at WT:BOT. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:42, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Миша13

This filing is an example of feeding one's process-wonky needs - playing the process for the sake of it. Not only Prodego is in error in his/her statement that other dispute resolution steps have been tried, he/she does not make clear what the arbitration is supposed to accomplish. ArbCom is not for making you feel warm and fuzzy about the process. On top of that, he/she is citing me with limited context and even then ignoring parts of it (specifically the part about the bot being already "approved, authorized or whatever you call it"). Plz u b wrting an lolenziklopedia, kthx. Миша13 19:27, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by MBisanz

I think we may be short some parties here, bot policy says:

Bots (short for "robots") are generally programs or scripts that make automated edits without the necessity of human decision-making.

Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_comment/Adminbots#List_of_adminbots_and_admins_running_deletion_scripts lists several admins running automated scripts for admin activities who are not named in this RFAR. They probably ought to be added if ArbCom decides to take a global look at this issue. MBisanz talk 19:38, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Just a comment to Majorly, the block in question was this block [7] for rapid page moving of the Faggot (slang)[8] after this grawp-like edit [9] and this penis-vandal edit [10] some days earlier. He was later determined to be banned user User:Who ordered 137? and blocked indef, so I really would not hold it against Misza for blocking a banned user who was probably trying to trigger his bot. MBisanz talk 20:16, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Reading the comments here, at the RFC, and at WT:BOT, I'd like to raise the idea of formal WP:Mediation as a way to get all the parties on a single page under a single mediator to keep the conversation on track and towards a goal. Just an idea. MBisanz talk 12:01, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Since Prodego feels the apparently uncontrollable urge to block users he suspects of using admin bots, despite his previous involvement in the adminbots issue (including this RFAR), maybe Arbcom does need to accept the case to examine the behavior of all parties using administrative rights in this matter. MBisanz talk 21:59, 22 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment from Majorly

There have been numerous issues with admin bots in the past. I can't think of any specifically, but I do remember an occasion when Misza13 (or rather, his bot) blocked a user because of a so-called bad username, and it wasn't. I remember him defending his (bot's) action, saying words to the effect of "99% of its blocks are good". That isn't good enough, it needs to be 100%. If this bot is so important and works so well, it should be approved like the one other approved admin bot, User:RedirectCleanupBot. Majorly talk 20:06, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

@MBisanz: I don't care if the user is blocked now. It was a false positive, which should never happen. Majorly talk 21:29, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
@MBisanz: And that isn't the one I was thinking of. Majorly talk 21:31, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Comments moved from a section set aside for another editor and reformatted.[11] WP:RFAR/G#Responding to others' statements. Anthøny 21:35, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
@Cyde Weys: If the bot was approved, at least it was a legitimate process that made the mistake. Obviously mistakes will happen, but when they happen with what's essentially an illegal process, that's when there's an issue. I don't understand the apparent difficulty in requesting approval... Majorly talk 21:42, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Removed and refactored, again. Edit only your own section please. Anthøny 21:46, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by krimpet

The point of IAR is to "be bold, but not reckless." Some of our community-elected admins have been running semi-automated and automated tools to help ease the workload for all and keep the project running behind the scenes. The engineering of these tools has been extremely careful and precise - one could say the "gray-area" nature of these tools has encouraged a very high level of quality assurance, since any false positives or bugs would probably lead to a huge, contentious discussion (like what led to the Betacommand arbitration case). If the filing party can provide some evidence on how these admins have actually caused disruption or harm since that case, that would be great... but I am not aware of any since then. krimpet 20:13, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment from AGK

Whilst it is indeed true that adminbots have been a contentious topic in principle for a sizeable period of time (namely, the past 2 years or so), in practice their continued presence has not constituted any danger or threat to the project. I am even inclined to state that the actions of adminbots (robot code, mass-action scripts, etc., being used on administrator accounts) by-and-large are a net positive for the project, and have very little to no ill effect.

Should this matter be considered for acceptance by the Committee, I note that it needs to be demonstrated that there is a serious issue to be Arbitrated. The presentation of a sample of evidence showing that adminbots have a disruptive effect on the encyclopedia is what I have in mind.

It may be a more productive and more feasible course of action, to focus on analysing the results of the adminbots request for comment, Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Adminbots. Developing a new forum for granting permission for administrators who run bot scripts on their account to continue to do so, as well as setting up a discussion specifically angled at how to interpret the RfC's results, may be a course of action likely to be more fruitful than a (premature) request for arbitration at this time.

Comment by probably involved Mr.Z-man

I'm not entirely sure why I'm not a party, given that I'm listed on the RFC talk page as having run an adminbot. I haven't run it in some time, mainly due to lack of time. Prodego writes:

unauthorized admin bots are often ignored, instead of being blocked, as policy prescribes

With the possible exception of polices that have real-world implications such as WP:COPY and WP:BLP, policy doesn't "prescribe" anything. It is a description of how things are actually done and probably should be done. As long as it helps the project (or at the least doesn't hurt it), no one has to follow policy (with the exceptions mentioned previously). The RFC mentioned above was not an attempt at dispute resolution, but a policy-RFC to get a policy for adminbots that doesn't suck. Blocking is supposed to prevent damage (hypothetical disruption is not damage, something has to actually be disrupted), from what I've seen, all of the adminbots currently operating are as, or more, accurate than humans. The benefit to Misza's bot is quite clear. Grawp socks are being blocked before they hit the pagemove throttle, often after only a couple moves. Mr.Z-man 21:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by uninvolved User:B

Having a mass arbitration is ludicrous. If there is any actual evidence of abuse, a case should be considered separately rather than asking arbcom to formulate our bot policy. Cyde, for example, has been running his bot non-controversially for a long time and it pre-dates a lot of the more recent complaining. It is an integral part of our CFD process and eliminating it would simply create extra work. If there's actual evidence that one of the named parties has abused the admin tools or run an unauthorized bot, ok, bring it, but lumping them all in together is asking for a policy to be created, not asking for something to be arbitrated. --B (talk) 21:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by uninvolved JzG

Ages ago we had Curps (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA), a user of such dramatic efficiency that pagemove vandals were blocked in no time and username blocks were performed almost at time of registration. I think it would be pushing our credulity to assume that no automation went into that. I would say that in as much as there is a consensus, it is that adminbots are a regrettable necessity in a few limited circumstances, but definitely not to be encouraged or allowed to proliferate. This appears to be a collision between principle and pragmatism. In the past, pragmatism would appear to have come out ahead on points. Whether that would still be the case now I don't know. On the basis of WP:BOLD, what Cyde says above, and policy being descriptive not prescriptive, perhaps a tweak to the policy page is the answer here. Guy (Help!) 21:25, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by Carcharoth

I would urge a full reading of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Adminbots by everyone commenting on this matter, plus the earlier threads that Cyde has pointed out and any other history that gets linked to. There is quite a bit of background here. I think most of FT2's questions are answered or partially addressed in the RfC - maybe someone could summarise from that and answer the questions here (or indicate that they were not, after all, addressed at the RfC)? I lost track of the RfC towards the end - CBM has provided a diff to the proposed change to bot policy, and it seems this gained approval (is that right, CBM?). What I think was not addressed there was grandfathering in the currently running admin scripts and bots, as listed on the talk page of the RfC (someone else mentioned this list above, but please note that it may not be comprehensive). Was anything discussed about grandfathering in the existing admin bots? Carcharoth (talk) 06:28, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

To Daniel: An alternative: rather than desysop Prodego, I suggest just ignoring him. Desysopping would give him more attention. The block was swiftly reversed. No irreperable harm seems to have been done except to Prodego's reputation (unless you think the actions of any one admin affects the reputation of the admin corps as a whole). Let him continue to use the tools for other things if he wishes. I'm sure people around here have long enough memories that any future action like this will result in desysopping. Carcharoth (talk) 00:49, 23 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by WJBscribe

Like many, my practice has been to turn a blind eye to admin bots unless they cause problems. A script that is outside policy but beneficial to Wikipedia is not going to keep me awake at night. To my knowledge, the only administrator who currently causes disruption to Wikipedia through high speed automated admin actions is MZMcBride - see:

These issues have been raised in a current case to which MZMcBride's conduct as an administrator is being considered - Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Sarah Palin protection wheel war. If these issues can be handled as part of that case, then I don't think a separate one is needed at this point.

I operate RedirectCleanupBot, a bot approved by the community to delete broken redirects. I have however been considering surrendering the bot and admin flags this account possesses. Put simply, the unapproved scripts being run directly on admin accounts are faster (the community specifically requested RedirectCleanupBot allow a chance for redirects to be fixed/targets undeleted before deleting them) and delete a greater range of broken redirects (not only those containing one revision), leaving very little for the approved bot to do. In my opinion, RedirectCleanupBot is superior as it links to the target of the broken redirect in its deletion summary and operates within the criteria laid down in community discussion. However, it is beginning to feel rather pointless running an adminbot as a token "approved" one, when most of the deletions the bot could perform are in fact done by another account. If the bot is to be merely a beard for what is actually happening, I am not comfortable continuing to operate it. WJBscribe (talk) 12:05, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Remark by Anonymous Dissident

The matter that underlies the premise of this request falls outside of the scope of the same request. The non-following of policy is merely one dimension in the issue regarding adminbot usage. It is the issue as a whole that requires conversational focus, as it were, rather than this "miscarriage of policy" face of it. The fact is that there is a disparity in the community as to where Wikipedia stands in regards to the use of automated scripts on admin accounts. Filing arbitration requests complaining about the disregarding of policy is not useful when policy is so unclear and so smothered in a latent but ever-present debacle that has been ongoing for many months, if not years. Instead of beating around the bush aiming to make sure policy as it is written is executed, we should instead work towards the clarification of this policy, towards the resolving of a long-standing issue that is the catalyst for the problems themselves. In addition, the lack of community consensus in this area render this request for arbitration inherently void, because action of any kind can hardly be taken when there is such sketchy foundations to base any such action upon. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 15:49, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

@Seraphim Whip below: adding a line about admins being allowed bots is an intriguing idea, but doesn't account for the ~1600 admins who were promoted by the community without this consideration. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 16:47, 20 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comment by Seraphim Whipp

Strangely, I find myself agreeing with part of the sentiment, that admins are allowed to run unapproved bots but editors are not. This kind of special treatment doesn't help with the idea that some editors have of admins. We need to define in RfA that by granting an editor trust to use +1 mop, we approve of them running a bot. If we can get this idea going, it would allow for greater transparency about admin bots. However, I don't think this is an issue for arbitration, but rather an issue for the community to form consensus on. Seraphim♥Whipp 21:13, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Chris

This case is premature, there is currently discusion going on at WT:BOT about the approval of adminbots. I suggest every one here should go and look at it, point out the flaws in the proposed policy and try to help fix them. If not we may just end up with rfa for admin bots (i.e. It doesn't work but it's the best process we've got) --Chris 01:49, 21 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by SirFozzie

After the most recent actions by the initiator of this Arbitration request, I do believe that ArbCom should accept this case to review user conduct, with an eye to remove Prodego from administrator status. His actions on this issue, and his misuse of his administrator tools, as well as the "block and run" where he blocked the user, posted about it on ANI, and then disappeared, has shown he does not merit the mop. SirFozzie (talk) 22:39, 22 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Daniel

Don't even bother accepting this case. Just desysop Prodego by motion (a-la CSCWEM), restrict him from reapplying only to ArbCom, and lets all move on. Christ, that's literally the worst, most point-driven, purely spiteful block I've ever seen. Especially given this Committee just warned him not to block just to create a case...don't feed him. Daniel (talk) 00:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Dragons flight

Prodego has declared his intention to leave Wikipedia. [12]

Statement by Seicer

As a note, Prodego (talk · contribs) has resigned. seicer | talk | contribs 00:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Clerk notes

This area is used for notes by non-recused Clerks.

Arbitrators' opinion on hearing this matter (4/1/0/2)

  1. When should an automated process or script using admin tools need to get communal approval of code and operation? (What's the baseline beyond which those become appropriate)
  2. Do the existing known admin bots and scripts meet those requirements or some form of "proven okay by history of usage"? (If so, then no problem with them)
  3. Should modifications and new bots and scripts always be checked, or only sometimes? (If the latter, under what circumstances or what baseline)
  4. A user is given admin tools on trust of their judgement. But an admin who writes a bot or script that uses their tools, is asking for additional trust in 1/ their coding and bot design that are not tested at RFA, and in 2/ how they codify often-flexible matters to a strict set of rules, and which (per WP:BOT#Bot usage, a policy) may 3/ require a higher standard due to its higher speed and more automated nature. Should that in turn require some kind of explicit communal or bot-writer endorsement, or when should that extra trust simply be assumed given?
These are not general adminbot questions, or questions about definitions. They are very exact questions that some kind of decisions need to be made upon. Reach a consensus (or find a minimum/baseline that consensus can agree upon) on those four, then if there is still a problem, come back. FT2 (Talk | email) 01:01, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Clarifications and other requests

Place requests related to amendments of prior cases, appeals, and clarifications on this page. If the case is ongoing, please use the relevant talk page. Requests for enforcement of past cases should be made at Arbitration enforcement. Requests to clarify general Arbitration matters should be made on the Talk page. To create a new request for arbitration, please go to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration. Place new requests at the top. Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/How-to other requests


Current requests

Request for clarification: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/John Buscema

Involved users
Evidence and links

Statement by Scott Free

Having been banned from editing said article, while maintaining the freedom to edit the article's talk page - are there any arbcom restrictions that prevent me from doing archive maintenance on said talk page? My reasons for wanting to do so are:

There was a lot of old discussion threads starting to accumulate - I archived them (respecting the pre-existing, consensused archiving structure), keeping the most recent thread- I don't see the problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk%3AJohn_Buscema&diff=237152156&oldid=236990123

It was alledged that I was doing so, I gather, in bad faith - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Rlevse#John_Buscema

As explained above, that wasn't my intention, and in fact, no proof of such allegations were provided. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Rlevse#No_one.2C_banned_or_otherwise.2C_should_be_removing_legit_talk_page_edits

I was blocked for this, although the administrator's interpretation that I removed legit talk page edits is, I believe, incorrect. I bring this to Arbcom clarification because I think that this is more a question of arbcom ruling interpretation than one of conduct issues to the extent that I have been able to demonstrate that my archiving edits were done with reasonable respect to existing consensus and archiving guidelines with a willingness to civilly discuss any differences of opinion on the matter.

--Scott Free (talk) 00:40, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

PS - Here's the page previous to my archiving - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:John_Buscema&oldid=231305105

Here's how I archived it - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:John_Buscema&oldid=236917151

--Scott Free (talk) 00:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It may seem lame to people constantly involved in controversial socio-political disputes with heavy policy violations - However, I do believe the question is genuine - there's some uncertainty as to the question of where archiving stands in the parties' rights to edit the talk page. It would take just as much time to answer the question than to explain why one doesn't feel inclined to. I.E. it's not that the question can't be worked out, it's just that one party genuinely feels that archiving isn't allowed according to the arbitration decision.

In general, part of the problem is that there's a lack of understanding of the arbitration process and certain guidelines on both sides - I don't feel that strongly about archiving per se - asking someone else to do it is probably impractical as I think the situation has scared everyone away and there are no active editors on the article beside the two parties.

In general if a party feels that a request is beneath their dignity, that's cool by me, just don't respond to it - let the people who have a sincere motivation to help out with this question address it, no rush.

--Scott Free (talk) 01:43, 20 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Response to Rlevse - Ironically, I thought that the manner in which Tenebrae and JGreb's obected to my archiving was a relative improvement over previous reactions. I agree with your take on the archiving situation but disagree with the rest. A few points -

a- I expressed my disagreement with Elonka's intervention, but didn't think much of it at the time.

b- When I requested that she not close a subsequent arb enforce req, I eventually noticed a certain 'snippiness' among the other admins who closed the following reqs., but didn't make much of it.

c- When I came across this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Elonka

I realized that I wasn't the only one with objections to certain methods - i.e. though the situations are different, I had noticed similar attitudes as expressed by editors such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Elonka#Comments_by_Mathsci and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Elonka#Outside_view_by_MastCell - with some 30 odd editors agreeing with these statements, I don't think my own complaints were necessarily groundless.

d- I also noticed that the same admins. who closed my reqs. displayed noticeably strong support for Elonka. I AGF, but will say that there can conceivably be an appearance of that situation having a negative influence on this case.

e- Ergo, if the experimental 'zero telorance, heavy enforcement' policy championed by Elonka is being used on this case, I feel that this is the wrong approach. I think that something like the opposite approach would be more effective i.e. de-dramatize, with a calm, patient, civil response to enforce and clarification reqs with suitable explanations.

PS - Damage control To Fassal, Gordon, NYBrad - re- lame ridiculous - I don't think that kind of response really helps the case. civility, civility,civility - decorum, decorum, decorum.

NYBrad - re: blocks because of edit-warring - no, no, no - the allegation is wrong - kindly provide evidence if you have those kind of statements to make.

PPS - I don't consider this me bickering with Tenebrae situation - JGreb's post-arb involvement, I don't consider to be from an uninvolved, neutral, objective adminstrator, and he has contested my edits as much as Tenebrae. I've pretty much given up on the situation - I.ve tried to negociate with the specific 'clique' - unsuccessfully - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Scott_Free&oldid=190564687

but basically what put the nail in the coffin are comments like this - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk%3AJohn_Buscema&diff=203399620&oldid=203367899 - mainly the last few parts - it doesn't sound to bad, but in the context of the subject, they're major restrictions IMO, and read like a kind of anti- featured article manifesto - I can't deal with that, I just don't what to make of it. Basically, all I want is to continue popping in from time to time with minor edits without people freaking out.

--Scott Free (talk) 23:40, 21 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Tenebrae

First, my thanks to Rlevse for notifying me; I've had a close death in my family, haven't logged on in awhile, and would not have thought to visit this page on my first foray back. Thank you.

In terms of any dispute with Scott Free: I'd simply notified the Arb committee of a unilateral action involving his removal of contentious postings with which he was involved. Because of questionable past actions on that editor's part (the Nationmaster episode, for example, in which admin Emperor rebuked him), this gives an image of impropriety. A third-party arbitrator, mediator or Comics Project volunteer could easily have been asked to archive in a disinterested, trustworthy fashion.

Rather than engage in argument with Scott Free, I responsibly sought an objective opinion. --Tenebrae (talk) 20:46, 21 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Clerk notes

Arbitrator views and discussion


Request for clarification: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2

List of any users involved or directly affected, and confirmation that all are aware of the request:

Statement by Gazimoff

I am requesting clarification from Arbcomm regarding the case above. This discussion may appear to be slightly premature, but I feel that it is appropriate to raise a request for clarification in order to minimise the potential for further disruption. TTN has been involved in two Arbcomm cases relating to content disputes. As a result of those cases, TTN has been subject to the following remedies.

The remedy from Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters stated the following:

The remedy from Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Episodes and characters 2 stated the following:

TTN was since blocked twice for violating these restrictions as recorded here The restriction placed upon him lapsed without extension on September 10th, 2008. Since that date, TTN has created a high number of deletion discussions. The concern here is not about the articles, templates and so on being listed for deletion. It is more about the high volume of content being listed for deletion in a short space of time only days after a lapsed editing restriction prohibiting this behaviour. Such action can potentialy stretch any cleanup team a wikiproject may have over a large number of articles, potentially reducing the quality of debate that can occur and leaving TTN open to criticisms of working against the wikiprojects involved.

The requests for clarification are as follows:

I appreciate that Arbcomm are limited in resource, and hope that by presenting this concern early and cleanly, clarification can be reached with minimal impact on the project.

See also related discussion

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#TTN nominating large numbers of pages for deletion (link contributed by Coppertwig (talk) 17:23, 16 September 2008 (UTC))[reply]

Statement by GRBerry

Related WP:AE threads are currently at (reverse chronological order):

  1. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement#Violation of TTN's restriction?
  2. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive26#Eusebeus
  3. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive22#Eusebeus still edit-warring over TV episode articles (partial copy also in archive 21)
  4. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive21#TTN and Sonic the Hedgehog characters
  5. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive20#Unreasonably broad interpretation
  6. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive20#User:TTN
  7. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive20#TTN and notability tagging?
  8. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Arbitration enforcement/Archive20#And so it begins again

There have also been plenty of AN, ANI, et cetera threads involving many parties. I conclude that remedy #2 "The parties are instructed to cease engaging in editorial conflict and to work collaboratively to develop a generally accepted and applicable approach to the articles in question. They are warned that the Committee will look very unfavorably on anyone attempting to further spread or inflame this dispute." has failed. GRBerry 18:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

To clarify, the threads with Eusebeus's names in them were not selected for inclusion because I have any concerns about his actions, they were included to help the committee realize that the "all get together and sing Kumbaya" recomendation of remedy is not working and not going to work. In the archive 26 thread, DGG observed "The disputed cases are about minor characters in the most important fictional works, such as plays by Shakespeare, and even major characters in relatively unimportant works." No consensus is going to form that draws a hard and fast line with no grey zone ("no character articles" or "if the work can have an article, every character can have there own article" are both thoroughly rejected by the community. So long as there is a grey zone, there will be disagreements and need for community discussion. The committee should only make sure that reasonable conduct bounds are drawn and enforced for that discussion. GRBerry 03:20, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by sgeureka

One way to look at it: TTN is quickly destroying the 'pedia with his quick AfDs. Do something about it.

Another way to look at it: Crappy fiction articles get created (in good faith) faster than they can be dealt with through what-some-would-label "recommended" channels. Cleanup templates get ignored for months (usually because the articles cannot be improved), merge proposals for popular yet crappy articles often get shot down through local fan consensus or take forever (by which time tons of new crappy articles have been created), and bold redirects or bold mergers for popular yet crappy articles get reverted and have demonstratedly already led to severe arbcom restrictions when someone tried to enforce to leave the redirects in place. AfDs however, especially for long-time cleanup-tagged articles, get quick results with community consensus. Not perfect but accomplishes the goal in the absense of other workable solutions.

Summa summarum: Leave dedicated editors at least one tool to keep up with the desperately needed cleanup. Or: fight the source of the problem (creation of crappy and unimprovable articles), not the symptom (AfDs). – sgeureka tc 19:11, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by A Man In Black

Bearing in mind where my obvious biases are, what's the harm in a bunch of AFDs of articles that will all either be deleted or merged? TTN was censured for edit warring, not cleanup. - A Man In Bl♟ck (conspire | past ops) 20:26, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Fut.Perf

TTN is right. Censoring him was wrong from the start. It really is as simple as that. Fut.Perf. 20:31, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by DGG (talk)

Based on a comment by TTN on my talk page, [14], I suggested there that the AfDs are being brought deliberately because of TTN's knowledge that they will not be approved at the article talk page. This is essentially the same behavior that the arb com was first asked to address--as it is in essence continuing, with afds showing no previous attempt to discuss, in clear violation of deletion policy, the restriction should be made permanent. There are a great many articles needing redirection , merge, or deletion. There are are a great many other editors to propose them. DGG (talk) 21:27, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by PhilKnight - responding to DGG

In situations where an episode or character article doesn't comply with notability guidelines, the article talk page is invariably dominated by editors who are vehemently opposed to any merge, let alone deletion. The problem is one of a local consensus attempting to override policy and guidelines. The obvious solution is to take the article to AfD. Accordingly, what DGG describes as a "clear violation of deletion policy" is normal practice for this topic area. Also, looking at WP:DELETION, there doesn't appear to be any requirement to start discussion before nominating the article. Obviously, it's good practice to notify the article creator, and perhaps even some of the other editors, however for deletion (as opposed to deletion review), I can't see any requirement for prior discussion.

Statement by Protonk

So long as non-community enforced pathways for dealing with marginal and sub-marginal fictional articles result in intractable stalemates and so long as the community cannot agree on a daughter notability guideline to deal clearly and appropriately with these articles, we will have situations like this. AfD is a perfectly acceptable route for dealing with articles which do not meet our inclusion guidelines. Since we have no real agreed upon guidelines that are binding concerning lists of characters, episodes and other daughter articles, AfD may be the preferred route. We may wish, in an abstract sense, that editors discussed improvement, then proposed mergers, then discussed why the merger didn't gain consensus, then prod, then nominate for deletion, but any editor who learns from past experiences will be tempted to skip steps. I see this as a policy issue that needs to be worked out by the community. We don't have an agreed upon way to treat characters and episodes (as it were), so we have problems like this. Fix that policy issue and we have fixed most of the problem.

Statement by User:Randomran

We need to assume good faith, rather than assuming that TTN is somehow on a vengeful mission after being locked away for 6 months. TTN got himself in trouble when he WP:BOLDly redirected pages en masse. He's learned his lesson, and is now soliciting the feedback of neutral Wikipedians in AFD. "AfDs are a place for rational discussion of whether an article is able to meet Wikipedia’s article guidelines and policies." I do not echo his support for deletion in each and every case, but he's using the process as it is designed. Anything else is a discussion of actual content: discussions that TTN has initiated, and cannot unilaterally decide. That's how Wikipedia works.

That said, I might advise TTN that he could generate more good will by nominating AFDs at more scattered intervals. He hasn't broken any policy, consensus, or arbitration decision. But this does needlessly inflame the inclusionists. The WP:DEADLINE applies as much to clean-up as it does to anything else: what's your hurry? Randomran (talk) 01:50, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by RyanGerbil10

So User:X was told not to do Y for Z period of time, X did not do Y until after Z (as asked), and now we're back at ArbCom? Seems to defeat the purpose if you ask me. RyanGerbil10(Kick 'em in the Dishpan!) 19:46, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by Norse Am Legend

Anyone's allowed to make statements here, right? What TTN is doing is similar to a police officer strongly and swiftly enforcing the law on any potential criminal that he sees or hears of. Is this acting in good faith? Possibly. Is he doing anything technically wrong? Apparently not. However, when every car in a five mile radius has a ticket on the windshield and the local courthouse is filled to the brim with people paying fines and undergoing trials, many people start to get really annoyed. Going on deletion crusades to "fully purge the video game and anime and manga character categories" and the like isn't something that should be fully endorsed without question - Norse Am Legend (talk) 02:38, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by ThuranX

Like many others here, I support TTN's efforts. As touched upon above, and seen in the AfDs in question, the local fan support serves to obstruct any management of a number of fiction related articles. The fans hide behind inclusionist thinking and essays, and are often good at mimicking the talking points, but they do a disservice to the real inclusionists by their actions. TTN's actions are commendable, as they make hte project stronger and more encyclopedic. ThuranX (talk) 19:30, 21 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Statement by User:Kww

People need to stop expecting TTN to get blocked at the drop of a hat for making a legitimate effort to clean up a large section of Wikipedia. I'm sure he noticed articles that needed deletion during his 6 month restriction, so it looks a bit like a floodgate letting loose. However, looking over the articles that he has nominated, it looks like he is showing excellent judgement about what articles are essentially unsalvageable. As to the idea that one should discuss deletion on the talk page of an article first? Laughable. Articles essentially never get deleted by discussion on an article's talk page, because an article's talk page is watched virtually exclusively by people that think the article is interesting, and, by extension, desire to keep it around.

If this becomes as bad as it has before, it may become desirable to start having negative consequences for bringing unfounded cases to Arbcom's attention.Kww (talk) 19:55, 21 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Clerk notes

Arbitrator views and discussion