Requests for arbitration/Scientology/Workshop

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This Wikipedia page has been unblanked as a courtesy.

This is a page for working on Arbitration decisions. The Arbitrators, parties to the case, and other editors may draft proposals and post them to this page for review and comments. Proposals may include proposed general principles, findings of fact, remedies, and enforcement provisions—the same format as is used in Arbitration Committee decisions. The bottom of the page may be used for overall analysis of the [[../Evidence|/Evidence]] and for general discussion of the case.

Any user may edit this workshop page. Please sign all suggestions and comments. Arbitrators will place proposed items they believe should be part of the final decision on the [[../Proposed decision|/Proposed decision]] page, which only Arbitrators and clerks may edit, for voting, clarification as well as implementation purposes.

Contents

Motions and requests by the parties

Motion to openly discuss Cirt's past identity

1) Cirt's behavior in the Scientology-series articles is one of the linchpins of this case. Cirt can be accused of taking WP:OWNership of the series to a perhaps unprecedented level. No discussion of Cirt can be complete without reference to his previous identity as he seamlessly carried on editing in the same articles, with the same POV, and, arguably, with the same tactics in his new identity as he did in his old. His previous identity has already been specifically named in various locations and comments at his WP:RFAR indicated that editors unfamiliar with his history had no trouble divining his previous identity - it is an open "secret". Little is gained by continuing to cloud his past except that a confirmed POV-warrior gets a whitewash. It is not my intent to bring up a bunch of unrelated material from his previous identity but I think that those trying to show a pattern in Cirt's behavior should be allowed to show the complete pattern. --Justallofthem (talk) 20:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Is there some reason why this would not ordinarily be permitted? Kirill (prof) 02:25, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Everyone already knows, so it's irrelevant. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 05:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
The security matter has been resolved. My previous account was Smee, renamed from Smeelgova. Discuss them if you like. Cirt (talk) 20:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
You "forgot" one of your other user names, minimum. Please provide a full list. Misou (talk) 03:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
On Wikipedia I have edited exclusively as Cirt for over a year. At sister Wikimedia projects I used to edit under other usernames but have consolidated those accounts as Cirt. If you think there's some action pertinent to this case under a previous username, I'd be glad to confirm whether the account is me or not. It's been many months since I've edited as anything else. Cirt (talk) 04:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Cirt is a distraction here. Some of his edits and arguments should be brought up at WP:RS/N, and that's about it. His involvement has been a net benefit to Wikipedia. With his apparent blessings above, I see no need to suppress his prior account's editing history, but it's moot. --GoodDamon 21:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Cirt is not a distraction and to say that marginalizes the editors that are in the process of presenting evidence. The Shutterbug issue and the Cirt issue are not related other than by the fact that they both relate to the Scientology articles and both fall under the decision of the COFS arb in one way or another. They were presented at WP:AE as unrelated issues. Durova concatenated them when opening this arbitration and the arbitrators agreed to take this case without limiting Durova's scope. I am sure that the arbitrators can manage to deal with both aspects of the case without getting unduly distracted. --Justallofthem (talk) 23:24, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
GoodDamon is obviously trying to make this ArbCom an anti-scientology issue. Misou (talk) 03:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I think you really do believe that, but it's not true. I am personally neutral on Scientology. To me, the belief system is simultaneously very bizarre and very interesting, and I think it's fascinating to watch a thoroughly modern religion form and go through its growing pains. It's one of the things that draws me to the Scientology pages here. There is one thing I am not neutral on: Abuse of Wikipedia itself to push an agenda. Look... If I were some anti-Scientology uber-critic, I would be pushing for inclusion of links to xenu.net and trying to make the Scientology article nothing but attacks on its subject. I have been, and continue to be, against that. Primary sources, self-published articles, shoddy opinion pieces... All should go. But I cannot and should not be expected to do that work and simultaneously put up with POV-pushing, single-purpose accounts that edit from the Church of Scientology. --GoodDamon 05:32, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Simultaneously claiming that Cirt is a distraction (here), and that you are not neutral on Abuse of Wikipedia and adjenda pushing, is a huge contradiction. You either have no real clue about who/what Cirt is, or you are simply puffing about being anti-POV. Any simple amount of digging into Cirt's edits as Smeeglova, Smee and Cirt, will show an obvious tenancy to push a POV. And, on more than one occasion using bogus sources which don't even refer to the actual subject. Even the Foundation Attorneys had to get involved in order to get Smee to back off POV that would have landed the Foundation in legal battles. If, as it appears, Smee aka Cirt has not changed, then her history is quite relevant, regardless of her efforts to switch accounts and leave evidence of POV behind. Lsi john (talk) 19:53, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Lsi john, since you are not a named party to this case, would you please move your comment to the Comment by others section? Unless you are requesting that your name be added. If the Foundation counsel became involved regarding Cirt at any point whatsoever, I would be very interested in that since I've become Cirt's mentor. This is the first I've heard of anything along those lines. We're not generally going into old history regarding such matters, but if the Committee is interested I could forward them some old correspondence you and I shared with Jimbo. It might be illuminating. DurovaCharge! 21:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I'm not really happy with this motion. We all know what happened. There's no reason to dredge up the past here, I'm not sure it's entirely relevant given Cirt's recent good conduct. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:13, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Motion to undelete Cirt's past accounts' talk pages

2) Motion to undelete Cirt's past accounts talk pages, with the proviso that prior to the undeletion, any text that may disclose Cirt's identity are kept deleted. This, to afford editors full transparency in these proceedings. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:02, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
I don't see how the talk pages of accounts which have not been used in over a year would be relevant here. Is it expected that there might be comments which would have some bearing on the present matter? Kirill (prof) 04:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe there's no relevance here. We are in the business of dealing with current issues, not old history. Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 06:43, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
They aren't relevant. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 05:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:02, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - No reason they should not be if someone presents a valid use for them relevant to this arb. --Justallofthem (talk) 03:28, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support -- it's considerably more difficult to determine whether Cirt engaged in any WP:BLP violations with his prior accounts in the absence of the talk page histories. John254 04:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Irrelevant to this case. In addition, arbitrators can read the deleted pages if they wish, so can any administrators. Releasing them to the public isn't necessary - the arbitrators make rulings here, and they can view the deleted pages if they think they're relevant. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:18, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Having read, as a dispassionate observer, the entire evidence page, I'm unconvinced that Cirt's prior history is anything more than a smokescreen here. There are certainly issues to deal with, but this action assists in dealing with those issues not one whit. SDJ 18:10, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I have to agree, this is not relevant to the case and of no value to the project's well-being. Ecoleetage (talk) 05:23, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

ns1.Scientology.org confirmed socks are banned

3) See: Jpgordon Checkuser confirmation, and with this additional evidence here, these users are banned for abuse of role accounts, sockpuppetry, and disruption of Wikipedia.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
See: Jpgordon Checkuser confirmation of technical sockpuppetry. This should be processed by the Arbs rather than AE noise as it's a previous issue as Jpgordon noted from the last instances of abuse and the previous RFAR. rootology (C)(T) 04:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
This would be something to be voted upon in the final decision, not as a "temporary" injunction, which would cease to be in effect at the end of the case. Daniel (talk) 05:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Motion to add User:Bravehartbear as a party to this case

4) Template:User, essentially a WP:SPA related to Scientology in the vein of similar COFS users, (see contrib history), has made disruptive edits to the article Scientology which could even be considered vandalism. Bravehartbear has already presented evidence in this case (Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Evidence_presented_by_Bravehartbear), and I request that he be considered a party to the case as well. Thank you, Cirt (talk) 16:54, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Template:User's actions of removing entire cites along with convenience links with unclear edit summaries to that effect, to me, could be construed as vandalism, but I recognize that others may not see it as such. Regardless, it is disruptive and is sufficient to add the account as a party to this case. As such, I have stricken the word "vandalism" from the above comment. Cirt (talk) 04:06, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
I looked over at Cirt's Evidence section to evaluate these "disruptive edits to the article Scientology which could even be considered vandalism" and lo, there was no evidence to that effect. So here is Cirt making an unsubstantiated claim attempting to tar another editor and also attach them to this proceeding apparently simply because the editor is a Scientologist and edits almost exclusively in the Scientology articles. Cirt no doubt hopes that this proceeding will, in some way, limit Bravehartbear's ability to edit the Scientology articles. That is reprehensible and is further evidence that Cirt cannot edit in good faith alongside a Scientologist. I think that neutral editors that have edited alongside Bravehartbear will agree that he is a polite and considerate editor that has exhibited little, if any, disruptive behavior. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:11, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment. Removal of valid source citations by inaccurately describing them as convenience links can be interpreted as vandalism. Normally arbitration enforcement could handle this, but with an ongoing case where he's already been active giving evidence this is not an unreasonable proposal. Braveheartbear is a single purpose account. No opinion on whether or not to add him, but the claim of religious bigotry looks misplaced. DurovaCharge! 18:31, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment "Removal of valid source citations by inaccurately describing them as convenience links can be interpreted as vandalism." I agree with that as a general statement, but let's not put the cart before the horse here. Where are the diffs? I cannot find a single edit summary in all of Bravehartbear's edit history that refers to "convenience links". Bravehartbear did remove citations (not the content) to various primary sources today. That reflects current editor consensus; see discussion of Atack's autobiography, Spidern's edit summary. I think you may owe Bravehartbear an apology. Jayen466 20:10, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
If there has been a consensus discussion establishing any of these sources as unreliable, please link to it.[1][2][3] To the best of my knowledge the challenges to these domains were raised in an out of process manner at AE and arbitration, as opposed to RSN and other venues specifically designed to settle such content disputes. When I drew up a report regarding the source domains under challenge it came with the specific caveat that the report carried no commentary on the purported reliability or unreliability of any of them; it was simply a description of the scope of the concerns expressed by some editors. Bravehartbear's type of aggressive change to a high level article shortly after the downgrading of its protection is at least worthy of a proposal to add the editor's name to an ongoing case where he or she has already been posting actively. Religious bigotry is a serious problem in the world at large, and there is no need to cheapen that serious charge by applying it loosely where better faith explanations are satisfactory. Now normally I don't advocate demands for apologies; they tend to be ineffective. Yet what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Jayen, would you be willing to walk the walk and provide one? DurovaCharge! 21:32, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment Durova, I have no issue with Bravehartbear being added as a party to this case, or any motion being made to that effect. I took exception to his edits being described as vandalism. Since the article has been opened again, it has been edited mostly by Spidern, Bravehartbear and myself. Spidern has made more substantial edits [4] [5][6] than Bravehartbear, based on the same rationale: we are agreed, across the divide that separated us when we started this process, that we want to use secondary sources to construct the article, and do without primary sources – which includes (1) autobiographical accounts like the one by Atack, (2) court records, alt.religion.scientology posts and press releases by the Cult Awareness Network hosted on xenu.net etc. but unreferenced by any cited secondary source, and self-published writing on anti-cult websites. These were the sources deleted in your diff edits (all of which were part of the multi-edit diff I gave above). I believe Bravehartbear went too far in three cases: (1) in the first of your diffs, deleting the clambake.org convenience link to Miller's book, which I seem to remember is hosted with permission (I'll check and reinsert it if appropriate); (2) also in diff 1, assuming that the consensus arrived at here not to use autobiographies of Scientology opponents also extended to Paulette Cooper's book – it might have been more prudent to test consensus for that on the talk page; (3) in diff 2, deleting Kent's paper from the References section just because of the convenience link to xenu.net (I had already restored it with a (hopefully) non-copyvio link [7] to Kent's university webpage). These were good-faith mistakes that are easily corrected (much easier than Bravehartbear's grammar); calling them vandalism strikes me as overly harsh. But you were not party to the discussions editors had [8][9][10][11], and I'll gladly apologise if my comments above struck you as out of line. I want us all to work together in bringing these articles forward, and I very much appreciate the work you and Cirt have put into the LINKVIO issue surounding the critics' sites. I'll check on that Miller link now. Cheers, Jayen466 22:52, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S.: The Miller link seems fine (the site says the work is hosted with the author's permission, which seems plausible) and has been restored. (If you have further concerns as to whether a publisher's okay is necessary as well for us to include the link, I am not sufficiently clued up in this area.) Jayen466 23:16, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
You may have a point there, thank you for explaining it more fully. Apologies for my part in the confusion. If we move away from the term vandalism and say in more general terms that this is the sort of behavior that probably would have resulted in Bravehartbear's being added to the case as a named party initially, if it had taken place five weeks ago, would that be more acceptable? DurovaCharge! 01:53, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Comment Just to set the record straight, the first and third edits I made (pointed out by Jayen466 above), were done to alleviate some concerns discussed and more or less agreed upon on the talk page, primarily brought up by Jayen466. The other edit was removing an uncontroversial passage sourced only to a primary source, which had survived a citation notice for 51 days prior to the primary source being added by an admin unfamiliar with the consensus against primary sourcing when the page was locked.Spidern 14:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by Bravehartbear. Hallow! Since the Scientology main has been closed I have been highly involved in the talk page point out mistakes and things that need to be change. One of my points is that only reliable sources should be used and that all links to Xenu.net should be deleted. And it was agreed that that was to be done.[12] Now, what you are saying is that I deleted reliable sources that were hosted by Xenu.net. This was my mistake and thank you for pointing it out. So links to reliable that are hosted by Xenu.net are ok. Ok, I can accept that if reliable sources that are hosted CoS related sites are also ok too. So can we agree to this?
I also want to point out that arbitration should be the last resort and that community should handle disagreements internally First! I was not even notified that there was a disagreement with my edits, most were previosly highly discussed in the talk page anyway.
Also I want point out that I have not been involved in any edit warring. I made a mistake, you pointed it out, and I say "I'm sorry", case close. I'm not a party in this arbitration because I have no conflicts with no one. I really could care less if COSF get ban or not, or if Cirt has abused his powers. I just want to edit and get along with everybody. So leave me out of your fights, ok. Peace out! Bravehartbear (talk) 14:49, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Motion to ban The Legendary Shadow!

5) The Legendary Shadow is a checkuser-confirmed sockpuppet of Richard Rolles, a disruptive anti-Scientology editor. See Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Richard Rolles. The Legendary Shadow account was unblocked by Nishkid64[13] with the following provisions:

Do not edit Scientology-related articles, unless in cases of strictly defined vandalism, participate in Scientology-related discussions, post rants about Scientology editors in your userspace, or any other activities involving Scientology in any userspace.[14]

Now, in violation of that strict topic ban, The Legendary Shadow is editing this case.[15][16][17]

He actually has been violating the terms of unblock for some time, although I hadn't checked out the specific terms of the unblock until today. No leniency is warranted in light of this editor's specific criticism of the Truthtell account, and blanking the unblock restriction declaration from his user page[18] shortly after violating the terms by posting to this case's workshop[19][20][21][22]

  • Scientology case evidence talk:[23][24]
  • An arbitrator's user talk, regarding the case:[25][26]

Expanding, worse than I thought: he's been gaming the margins of his unblock since early December:

A quick recap for those not familiar with the case, it was argued that Scientology should be included under the 'Supremacist' catgory, due to their views on them being 'Homo Novis', ie a master race. Lack of useable secondary sources meant this could not happen, howver it was suggested that the heading be changed to 'Extremist' as this term applied to all the groups already in the category (whose presence there has NEVER been called into question), and Scientology could be added due to secondary sources that supported this (at the time, I argued that this should only be done if we were to include Scientology, otherwise there was no point in the change). The change was APPROVED BY CONSENSUS, however Scientology was removed once again by a disruptive editor.[27]
Comment by Arbitrators:
In theory, this case will close soon, and we'll just include a regular finding. I imagine that a topic ban will be reimposed at the least. Cool Hand Luke 04:37, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Proposed. What's good for the goose is good for the gander: violation of unblock restrictions is the same no matter what the editor's POV. Also worth noting: the proposed remedy to prevent Cirt from using the tools at all on Scientology-related matters would also disallow him from becoming the blocking editor even in instances as obvious as this one, thus barring Cirt from preventing an unwise unblock, such as this was. DurovaCharge! 03:16, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, thanks for the effort, Durova. I did not pay it much mind as I knew he had been over at Davies' talk page asking about providing "evidence". Wouldn't exactly call his rant "evidence" but there are other eyes than mine on that. As an aside, I really do not see this as justification for relaxing Cirt's use of admin tools in the affected articles. There are lots of other admins 'round here. --Justallofthem (talk) 04:08, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Would have acted sooner if I'd realized it sooner. I don't watchlist those articles. The normal admin policy on recusal isn't an absolute barrier to action throughout a disputed topic, when supported by checkuser. A common trait of many of Wikipedia's controversial topics is that administrative attention lessens; people don't want to sink into a morass. So although obvious vandalism may get remedied and routine page protections may occur, serious followup such as ought to have happened here is rare. Before Cirt was sysopped, some of your own complaints to admin boards had difficulty getting action. Such as here where you followed up several times with requests for more attention, followed up shortly afterward here where both Cirt and I supported you. Why would you object to him using the tools to stop anti-Scientology sockpuppeteers and obvious vandals after checkuser confirms what they are, in situations where the normal standards for administrator recusal would not apply? The List of new religious movements received 1834 page views from August 21-25, while you were seeking assistance at the admin boards.[28] If you really wish to prevent harmful and unjustified statements about your religion from reaching the public, then why muzzle one of the few administrators who really monitors the topic--even when he would help you? DurovaCharge! 05:10, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

- Okay, well, I figured this was coming. In my defense I will say only this.

1) I have stayed off Scientology related articles as per the terms of my unblock. My bit on the talk page of LRNM was intended as an attempt to restore the article to what it was before it was decimated by the fuss over Scientology. In hindsight perhaps I could have structured it a bit better, but my intentions were honorable, and I think anyone reading it will see that.

2. I had been following this case and had no intention of ever editing in it; Roger Davies put up a call for anyone with evidence to provide it, and I have discussed this with him. And my responding to a member of the committee is used as a diff. Great. My comment on the 'Truthtell' account is merely an alternative view on the matter which I thought might be useful. It doesn't attack anyone, or anything like that. And I'm being penalised for it. And finally, I was just plain trying to be helpful with regards to Just's concern about the Richard Rolles talkpoge.

3. Posting to the case's workshop- I thought this would be allowed, since it goes beyond normal articles etc. I had evidence, and I felt it should be presented. When Roger Davies appealed for more information and I responded, no-one cried 'Violating your unblock', so why penalise me for my first attempt at the beginning of the case.

4. Nothing dodgy about me blanking my userpage; I was advised to remove the stuff I had written there, and I simply blanked the page as it was easier. The terms of my unblock were added back on there and are still visible. Clearly I'm trying to hide something.

5. THIS ACCOUNT was blocked by Nishkid64, NOT Cirt. As I have explained elsewhere, I set up this new account so that I could start afresh on Wiki, it is not intended as and I do not view it as a 'sockpuppet' of Richard Rolles. Unfortunately one editor in particular would not allow me even that and flagged it as a sock. Nishkid was the blocking editor of THIS account, therefore it is Nishkid to whom I made the unblock request. AND you'll notice that Nishkid was aware of the stuff on my talkpage my intial attempt to present evidence, and as the unblocking editor he decided not to penalise me, since I was still a little grey about what I could and couldn't do.

To sum up, using Durova's diffs- numbers 13, 14, and 19-22 were KNOWN about by my blocking editor and he did not deem it necessary to take action. Yet these are now being used against me, which is unfair. As soon as I responded to Roger Davies (23), I was involved with the case, so anything after that (24-26) is a moot point. The terms of my unblock are visible to all, yet Roger did not say "You're violating your unblock". He asked for anyone with evidence, I responded. Unfair to penalise me for that too.

So there you go, I stay off Scientology articles and then try to contribute geniune evidence to an Arbitration, and I get crucified for it. That's great. Well, I'll stop talking and let you get on with your 'Support' votes. The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 04:48, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Shadow, you are a bright guy. You know the difference between "evidence" and "vague unsupported accusations". You broadly hint that I may (just sayin', hypothetically) have set up the Truthtell account as a sleeper. Given your history of unwarranted interest in me and my editing here and the terms of your unblock, that is ill-advised on your part. I think the evidence you want to present had something to do with who started what over at that list of religions. OK, that, supported by diffs, would be evidence. You did not post evidence, you posted more of the same that got you blocked. Suggest you strike the rant and post evidence if you have any and I will respond as appropriate. Cheers. (ps, you don't know me - you only think you do.) --Justallofthem (talk) 06:38, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

-Comment stricken. My evidence has been given to the committee and they will decide if it is necessary or appropriate to post it. The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 12:04, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Shadow was topic banned from Scientology discussions in late October, yet by December 6 he was in one. And by the middle of that same month he was posting to this case while blanking the restrictions in the attempt to conceal them. Shadow could have emailed the Committee and remained within the terms of your restriction, but came here instead--and came here long before Roger Davies sent out a call. Nothing onsite suggests that Shadow informed Roger of the editing restriction or sought a modification. Then Shadow comes to a thread about Justa's most recent checkuser result, to post a statement that is either totally off topic or mocking. Since Shadow is himself a checkuser-confirmed sockpuppeteer, this example of WP:KETTLE warrants decisive action. Wikipedia is not a battleground. DurovaCharge! 16:01, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

-Just a quick word to re-affirm that blanking my talkpage was not a deliberate attempt to conceal my editing restrictions. I was never told I had to post them up on my talk page in the first place, I did this of my own volition and in the interests of full disclosure. I had other inflammatory stuff on my talk page (along with my edit restrictions) which several editors (including Cirt) advised me to remove, so it was simply quicker and easier for me to blank the whole page. Those of you who can actually be bothered to look at my history will see that when I did get around to re-doing my talk page, I added my editing restrictions back to the page, and they have remained there. I didn't inform Roger of my restrictions because I didn't think I needed to, since they were there for all to see on my talkpage. Durova's right, I should have emailed the committee etc, but I just wasn't that familiar with Wiki and the way it works. And go easy on the 'sockpuppeteer' label, since I have only ever had one account at a time, and as I have said, this one was a genuine attempt to make a clean break, which has sadly ended in failure. In fact, what I regret more is that none of us should really be here, actually. If the earlier arbitration cases had been decisive enough, this case might never have been necessary. The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 23:56, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I've struck through that part of the request regarding the user page blanking, but it's not enough to change the proposal. You were quite clearly violating the terms of the unblock for most of the time since your return, and certainly violated its spirit. The defense here mostly amounts to an attempt to reformulate the scope of the editing restriction. If you had worked out such an agreement with the unblocking administrator in advance, then what I might be asking here is a return of the stricter terms. But you didn't, and the effect has clearly been disruptive. DurovaCharge! 00:09, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

It was never my intention to try and change this proposal, I accept and admit that there has been some violation, but what I have done was intended in good faith. What it all boils down to is: I'm an idiot. The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 00:33, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Suggest recusal by Scientology-biased arbitrators

6) I suggest that the arbitrators here take a look at their personal biases vis-a-vis Scientology and Scientologists and recuse themselves accordingly. If any of you arbitrators are biased against Scientologists - e.g. wouldn't hire one, wouldn't want your little sister dating one - then I suggest you recuse. If any of you arbitrators subscribe to popular internet and/or Wikipedia myths or stereotypes about Scientologists, specifically that we cannot edit here independently and/or are operating under orders or programs from others in the Church, then I suggest you recuse. If any of you are part of or support Anonymous in its attempt to destroy the Church of Scientology then I suggest you recuse. If any of you are practicing, or have practiced, in the mental health field as opposed by CCHR and the Church of Scientology then I suggest that you have a real or apparent conflict of interest and should recuse.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. --Justallofthem (talk) 16:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Just, could you clarify please - do you have any evidence or reason to believe that any of the arbitrators are biased (pro or anti)? If you don't I can't see the point of asking for a recusal based on a hypothetical set of circumstances. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:14, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Chris, I have seen a few clues but nothing I would forward here. This issue needs to be raised and I am raising it - it is on the honor of the arbs to take the necessary steps. I might mention that I see a clear lop-sidedness when the single pro-Scientology editor with a history of productive contribution to this project and little history of inappropriate article-space edits is being considered for site-ban while POV pushers with proven history of inappropriate article-space editing that also happen to have a productive contribution history are let off with a slap or with nothing. --Justallofthem (talk) 13:57, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Translation: "If you are not a supporter of the Church of Scientology, then I suggest you recuse yourself".

I honestly cannot believe what I am reading here. I mean, I almost can't. Even for Justallofthem, this is staggering. But it is also typical of Scientologists above a certain level who take a more 'If you aren't with us, you're against us' view, the kind of thing that comes from their 'PTS/SP' course on how to handle critics, as well as another example of Justallofthem trying to derail proceedings when things are not going his way (see ParanormalSkeptic's evidence).

Just, the arbitrators are dealing with the FACTS of the case and the EVIDENCE PRESENTED. Evidence which, among other things, shows that CoS IPs are ususally used to push POV and do not stray from Scientology articles. Correct me if I'm wrong but no-one has said 'every individual Scientologist is topic-banned'. Facts, and evidence. I'd say accept it, but you and I both know why you can't.

The highlight of this hissy-fit surely must be: "If any of you are practicing, or have practiced, in the mental health field as opposed by CCHR and the Church of Scientology then I suggest that you have a real or apparent conflict of interest and should recuse."

Ah yes, Scientology's other mortal enemy- Psychiatry. Anyone who poses a threat, eh Just? Just out of interest, do you accept CCHR's official stance that psychiatrists were responsible for the Holocaust?

Bottom line Just, I'm pretty sure your little outburst hasn't done you any favours. Responding to it probably hasn't done me any. Do you see me writing a sob story over my topic ban, or the one month ban Wiki ban that was originally proposed? Hell no, I accept my part in this and I deserve whatever comes. But like I said, you and I both know why you can't let it go... The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 23:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Shadow, your "translation" of my words is in extreme bad faith as is most of the rest of your (typical) rant. --Justallofthem (talk) 12:58, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Just, but your entire post suggests that there is no middle ground, no neutrality, and assumes that much of the arbitrators. I repeat my "If you aren't with us, you're against us" comment, as this is clearly the attitude of your post. You cannot accept for one second that the proposed sanctions against you (and others) are the result of evidence provided, as well as judgements made against you on the basis of your actions and NOT which cult "religion" you happen to be a part of. The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 15:56, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposed temporary injunctions

User:David Gerard suspended from ArbCom mailing list for duration of case

1) I move that David Gerard be suspended from the Arbitration Committee mailing list for the duration of this case. As maintainer of an anti-Scientology Web site, I think it is clear he cannot be impartial regarding Scientology-related issues. His participation on the private mailing list would cast a pall over any Committee findings and involve the appearance of impropriety. *** Crotalus *** 19:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

NB: ::This has been superseded by ArbCom's new mailing list structure. --ROGER DAVIES talk 13:25, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
This is certainly unprecedented, and somewhat irrelevant to boot: we have a private list for the sitting arbitrators, to which David is obviously not subscribed. Kirill (prof) 02:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
We don't do this. Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 06:45, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
(Future arbitrator) Kirill is right; this might be more of an issue if the current arbitrator list was not available. Speaking for myself, I am aware of his POV, and I will discount his opinions as appropriate. No need to drop him from arbcom-l. Cool Hand Luke 20:40, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
This would be a new precedent, if accepted. Charles Matthews did not recuse from the ArbCom list during Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Matthew Hoffman, for example, despite being the initiator of the RFAR and a named party. Not sure where I stand on this. Crolatus, could you articulate more clearly under what circumstances you believe recusal from the ArbCom mailing list would be appropriate during a case? And would you consider an alternate solution in which a temporary ArbCom list were created for purposes of discussing a particular case, so that a person who has COI in one case could continue to provide useful input on unrelated matters? DurovaCharge! 20:11, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
You've got a point, Crotalus. I think what Kirill is saying is the Committee already has a list where David Gerard doesn't have access, so that makes this proposal redundant. DurovaCharge! 22:10, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I don't see why this is so controversial. People with a strong stake in one side of an issue shouldn't be involved in confidential deliberations over that issue which are supposed to be conducted in an impartial manner. I'm certainly not saying that anyone with an opinion on the matter has to recuse themselves. But if someone's opinions are strongly enough held that they have spent years running a web site pushing one side of the issue, that's a good indicator that they probably can't set those feelings aside no matter how hard they try. If this is truly unprecedented, it says something unfortunate about the ethics of ArbCom, and may be a good indication of why its prestige among the Wikipedia community is at a nadir. *** Crotalus *** 15:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
In response to Morven: I can't think of any other context in which this sort of thing would be ethically acceptable. People with a strong bias/POV/COI on a particular issue should not be involved in confidential ex parte communication with arbitrators or judges who are supposed to be deciding that issue in an impartial manner. *** Crotalus *** 18:25, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Decorum on the RFAR pages

2) All parties are reminded that WP:CIVIL, WP:NPA, etc. apply on arbitration pages as much as (if not more than) on the rest of Wikipedia. Any user breaching any of these policies may be blocked for up to 24 hours by any uninvolved administrator.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. I wouldn't normally recommend this, but there are so many entrenched points of view and vested interests that this would be useful. Stifle (talk) 10:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Not sure this is necessary; I've seen some heated debate but no serious incivility so far. Perhaps I've overlooked something. *** Crotalus *** 15:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Vaguely opposed to this - it'd only kick up a huge drama if a party was blocked for 24 hours during a critical period of an Arbcom case. I support the motives though, and am happy to block where there's a problem. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
I think we have to restrict blocking to the clerks. Regrettably, they seem not to be particularly active about enforcing WP:NPA on arbitration pages. Perhaps we need a bit of culture change. Jehochman Talk 20:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Adding User:AndroidCat to the ArbCom

3) User:AndroidCat is to be included in this ArbCom. He is a regular contributor to the 393 articles on the Scientology portal and has recently been involved in a POV conflict in John Carmichael (Scientologist)[29]. Shutterbug (talk) 06:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
I rolled back an edit by Jayen466 because there was no reason given for the deletions and it looked like another arbitrary link-hunt removal. The reasons given after the fact seem justified, and I agree. I would have mentioned this on the Arbitration enforcement page, but it was all over and done before I learned about it. (It looks like I missed quite an event: "drama mongering, soap boxing or attacking opponents".) That should have been handled on the Talk page of the article, especially since I wasn't a party to the original COFS arbitration except in the general probation on all editors. Now Shutterbug/COFS wants to drag me into the annual time-suck for something this trivial? I suspect bad-faith reasons since he/she knows that I can spend little time on Wikipedia during the week. (And thanks to someone for the tip that this was even being proposed.) AndroidCat (talk) 21:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Template

4)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Questions to the parties

Question from Roger Davies

Can anyone estimate the number of Scientology-related articles, including biographies of people with Scientology connections, currently involved in one sort of dispute or another? Apparently, the Scientology portal covers about 400 articles within its scope. --ROGER DAVIES talk 13:14, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I have only a small subsection of all these articles on my watchlist, but as far as I can tell, things are relatively quiet at the moment. There is an open dispute regarding Scientology as a state-recognized religion at RS/N, and I opened another RS/N thread related to the Wikinews article mentioned in Evidence. Jayen466 15:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Is there any more evidence to come in on this? Various editors have said they would but it doesn't seem to have forthcoming. — Roger Davies talk 14:38, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm done. Took down my 'more coming' after the last batch of evidence. Thank you for asking. DurovaCharge! 15:01, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I am done as well. I removed my Additional evidence note. Cirt (talk) 15:05, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, both. I didn't notice that. I'll get some proposals up for discussion tomorrow. — Roger Davies talk 15:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm done. Spidern 13:35, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. — Roger Davies talk 13:41, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I am finished presenting evidence. Thank you. --Justallofthem (talk) 19:35, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed final decision

Proposals by John254

Proposed principles

Administrators

1) Administrators are expected to understand and enforce the requirements of the biographies of living persons policy. Administrators who engage in serious violations of this policy may be desysopped.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Don't we normally wait a reasonable length of time for Wikipedians to defend themselves first before proposing something this extreme? The case has been open less than 24 hours. DurovaCharge! 21:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. John254 21:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Reply to Durova: on the contrary, it's useful to write proposals here based on the evidence presented so far, to inform parties to the case of what they have "to defend themselves" against -- of what principles might be applied, and what conclusions drawn, in the absence of any defense. John254 21:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
For over a year I have spoken out against over-hasty conclusions at arbitration. When Wikipedians are informed of an arbitration case they are requested to allow one week for evidence presentation. Please keep an open mind. Respectfully, DurovaCharge! 22:26, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure that the arbitrators will allow a minimum of one week before introducing any findings and remedies at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Scientology/Proposed decision. Other editors, posting in this workshop, are under no such restriction. John254 22:53, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
As a friendly suggestion, your your own credibility could be more at issue than his with over-hasty proposals. Really, if there's nothing to be said for Cirt six days from now then the same proposals would carry greater weight. If there is more to be said for him, then you might regret such strong proposals. The definition of prejudice is to reach a conclusion before seeing enough evidence. Nothing personal: I said as much to Mackensen and TheBainer here. Earnestly, DurovaCharge! 00:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Bad precedent, and the proposal is really only asking for Cirt to be de-sysopped. If major BLP violations are a problem, the community may choose to desysop, but it's never a first option - it's only done when there are no other options. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:BLP violations by OTRS members

2) WP:BLP violations by OTRS members are considered to be especially egregious misconduct, since many users will presume the correctness of WP:BLP actions by editors who display the OTRS userbox, even when no OTRS ticket number is cited in the edits. While the removal of OTRS membership is outside the remit of the Arbitration Committee, the Committee can revoke OTRS members' editing privileges to prevent them from exercising an air of OTRS authority on the English Wikipedia.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Cirt's connection with OTRS appears to me so far to be irrelevant to this case. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:38, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Irrelevent. Cool Hand Luke 00:16, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment - While I sympathize with John's concern, from the language of the proposal itself, I would say that this cannot be directly addressed here. What we can do is strongly address concerns with Cirt's editing, especially in BLP articles. My probation proposal does just that - it addresses the concerns without being especially onerous on Cirt. If Cirt demonstrates the same willingness to change when under scrutiny that he has in the past then the year should pass without incident. Cirt is presently removing questionable references that, in the past, he wholeheartedly defended. He "should" have realized all along that they were unacceptable and the fact that he is now removing them spurred on simply by the existence of this arb gives credence to my claim that a probation will help him "see the light". --Justallofthem (talk) 14:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed, since Cirt used a blog to make a highly controversial claim concerning a living person [30], then used tabloid-sourced gossip to support similarly controversial information [31], and, despite sometimes vociferous protestations to the contrary [32], did actually edit-war the tabloid-sourced gossip back into the article [33]. If the police are robbing your house, then who can you call? John254 01:32, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
There are many Wikimedians on OTRS who have no experience with dealing with BLP's and don't have access to any BLP-related queues. You seem to overlook this fact in your ridiculous wide-sweeping "principle" above. Daniel (talk) 06:29, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the internal operations of OTRS, of course, but neither are most other editors. This principle relates to how the OTRS is viewed: because of the extent to which OTRS members are actually responsible for remedying WP:BLP problems, they are widely regarded as the "BLP police", such that the correctness of their actions in this regard is often assumed. John254 15:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Daniel, above. Furthermore, Cirt has never used his involvement in OTRS to abuse his editing privileges. While the OTRS Admins and the Volunteer Coordinator have a great deal of respect for the Arbitration Committee, and have listened to its opinion and that of its members as a whole, any inclusion of OTRS in this is absurd. Bastique demandez 16:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. Indeed, some OTRS members revel in the extent to which their WP:BLP-related actions are assumed to be correct: [34] [35]. Only when an OTRS member has made edits that are indefensible under the biographies of living persons policy would some editors adopt the fiction that OTRS members are treated the same as everyone else, that users would be just as willing to revert WP:BLP violations by Cirt as those committed by an ordinary editor. John254 05:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
A presumption of deference, at least in the short-term, to OTRS participants may apply when the OTRS member removes problematic BLP conduct. But OTRS still has little or nothing to do with this case. Newyorkbrad (talk) 08:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Again, this smacks of the above proposal, in that the only use I can see of it at this point is getting Cirt's tools removed from him. I don't see that OTRS has been used as a 'police badge' in this case at all, and I don't see that removing anyone's editing privileges would help this particularly. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
There are many whiffs of vengeance wafting about here, which isn't acceptable in the least. What has OTRS to do with this case? It certainly seems that Cirt is being used as some sort of shield to deflect from the real issues of this case. SDJ 18:15, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Irrelevant since OTRS issues haven't been raised.   Will Beback  talk  19:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. Many OTRS volunteers, myself included, have no access to deal with OTRS tickets regarding complaints from article subjects. OTRS is a red herring here. Stifle (talk) 16:42, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Violations of Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources can cause real harm to real people

3) Edits to a biography are visible immediately, and may, to the extent that they are poorly sourced and potentially false, cause harm to the subject of an article from the moment of their implementation.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed, using language shamelessly borrowed from an editor supporting Cirt [36]. Since articles aren't drafts, WP:BLP violations are no mere technical errors, but are rather serious freaking business. John254 02:41, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Simple mistakes vs. major disruption

4) The degree of impropriety ascribed to an incorrect or editorial administrative action is often directly proportional to the deliberation shown in performing it.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. For instance, deleting the main page once without a summary would be considered a simple mistake, while the same deletion effectuated with the summary "removing unnecessary main page" might constitute grounds for emergency desysopping. If an administrator who deleted the main page on the asserted grounds of inutility continued to claim, during a request for arbitration, that his deletion appeared correct at the time, even if a consensus subsequently formed against it, we would have little confidence in his future administrative acts. It should be considered that Cirt's WP:BLP violations appeared to note the character of the material in question, that Cirt did not self-revert or apologize for the edits at the time, and that, even now, Cirt's own evidence does not appear to acknowledge that any controversial material concerning living persons should have been supported by reliable sources ab initio. John254 03:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Cirt

1) Template:Admin has added inadequately sourced controversial material concerning living persons to Wikipedia articles on several occasions, in egregious violation of Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Well, the blogtalkradio source was basically an interview with an ex-Scientologist who was commenting on a third party.[37] That seems like a clear BLP violation to me—it's quite derogatory, presumably controversial, and from a partisan primary source hosted on a blog. That said, Cirt appears to have handled it well. The material was excluded from article to conduct an RFC on the matter, which Cirt correctly closed himself as no consensus = exclude from BLP. Admins are allowed to be wrong, especially when they accept comment on disputes and try to adhere to our policies. The other example[38] seems less clear-cut to me, and Cirt again offered to be bound by an RFC.
I think a toned-down version of this finding might be appropriate because BLP is an extremely important policy, but I don't think a pattern of "egregious violations" has been established. Cool Hand Luke 00:16, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
In response to Template:User above - As I have already acknowledged[39], that particular edit was a mistake. Please bear in mind that it was a lone instance that occurred four months ago and the editors who raised this as arbitration evidence completely bypassed normal editorial discussion regarding their objections: they waited from August until December before mentioning it at all, then when they raised the matter it was not with me but via arbitration enforcement.
For many months now I have been walking on eggshells at this subject. My mentor has cautioned me to expect that any edit I make would be reviewed under a microscope, that any minor error would be parlayed against me to the utmost and that fictitious mistakes could be manufactured to create the appearance of a habitual problem. If I had edit warred or rebuffed attempts at dialog concerning this, then perhaps a caution from the Committee would be warranted, but as things stand what’s more concerning is the kind of tactics being used here: it isn’t good for this dispute for the Committee to reward people who treat edits as ammunition instead of undertaking normal editorial discussion. Wikipedia is not supposed to be a battleground. Cirt (talk) 23:12, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
That's understood. Like I said, admins are allowed to make mistakes. You handled well, and I see no pattern of BLP violations at all (my closing comment above was understatement). Cool Hand Luke 23:22, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed per Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Fabricating_material_from_unreliable_source.28s.29, Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Cirt_misrepresents_sources, and Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Cirt_uses_poor_sources. Particularly, see [40] and [41] in which Cirt uses a blog, and the tabloid magazine New Idea, respectively, to make controversial claims concerning living persons. One of the very sources that Cirt cites in his edit describes New Idea as one of "the celebrity gossip weeklies". Furthermore, Cirt used the tabloid magazine as a source [42] after the conclusion of an RFC as a result of which he conceded that a blog does not constitute a reliable source for the purpose of making controversial claims concerning a living person. John254 21:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
As if that weren't bad enough, after a another editor removed Cirt's tabloid-sourced WP:BLP violation, Cirt restored it with a misleading edit summary (the reliable sources expressly described the matter as factually questionable tabloid-sourced gossip). Thus, the claims of editors defending Cirt to the effect that "Cirt didn't edit-war" [43] are blatantly false. John254 01:01, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. We all make mistakes. It's how we handle them that matters most. Cirt has acknolwedged his error and hasn't repeated it. That's what we should hope for from any editor.   Will Beback  talk  19:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt's prior accounts

2) Template:Admin was previously User:Smeelgova, an account which was renamed to User:Smee [44]. He was blocked seven times for edit warring largely related to new-age religious groups under both accounts, as chronicled in their block logs [45] [46]. At the time Cirt was granted adminship, he refused to disclose the identities of his prior accounts. Moreover, the deletion of the prior accounts' talk pages [47] [48] served to further conceal Cirt's misconduct at the time of his RFA, even from users who were aware of his prior identity.

Comment by Arbitrators:
The last such block was 18 months ago, and the blocks were mentioned in the nominator's statement in the RFA. The request to undelete the user talk pages strikes me as an attempted Crystal 128 babelfish.png fishing expedition. Sam Blacketer (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Totally unnecessary. We're all admins here anyway—if you think there's important deleted material, let us know. Cool Hand Luke 00:16, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
This fails to note that at Cirt's RFA his prior block history was fully disclosed, as were the serious harassment concerns that led to the username changes. I provided an offer to supply appropriate details to any editor in good standing who requested them, and referred editors who needed further substantiation to Jimbo Wales. The bureaucrats addressed the matter adequately at RFA closure (which was a solid 80% in support). Cirt received a solid 166 supports at RFA, making him the 19th most popular RFA candidate in site history (in terms of total supports). DurovaCharge! 22:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Now that Cirt has revealed the previous accounts, these accounts' talk pages should be undeleted for transparency in these proceedings. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:36, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. John254 22:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Response to Durova: the fact that Cirt's blocks for edit warring were largely related to articles concerning new-age religious groups similar to the Church of Scientology was not disclosed at his RFA, though it may have affected how his subsequent WP:BLP violations on articles related to the Church of Scientology were treated. John254 22:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose: This is not a finding of fact if you lie by omission. If we include Durova's text in here, then we've got a finding, but otherwise, it's pretty one-sided. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:44, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Cirt's treatment of our biographies of living persons policy

3) Template:Admin continues to treat violations of Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources as ordinary content disputes, not policy violations which administrators should remedy, prevent, and refrain from engaging in themselves, as described in Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Per the cited evidence, this finding is frivolous. Cirt correctly followed BLP by not reinserting the material while it was discussed for 45 days in an RFC. Upon closing the RFC, he declared that the source was inappropriate because there was no consensus for inclusion, also per BLP. Cool Hand Luke 00:16, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed, per Cirt's own evidence, in which he states in relevant part that
historically I have started RFCs in order to resolve content disputes, such as here at David Miscavige, later closing the RFC against my own prior position here, deferring to community consensus on the issue as is appropriate after a content-RFC.
John254 01:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. There is no evidence of repeated, tendientious, ongoing violations of BLP.   Will Beback  talk  19
13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Rootology

4) Template:Userlinks was banned from Wikipedia from September 2006 until May 2008 due to severe personal attacks and other extensive disruption. During the course of this case, Rootology made unreferenced allegations concerning another editor's religious affiliation and/or employer, in violation of WP:NPA and WP:LIBEL personal attacks against another editor on the basis of the latter's alleged religious affiliation and/or employer.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Jossi's connection with Prem Rawat is not in dispute, and mentioning it is not outing. It is, however, utterly irrelevant to this case.
(Needless to say, proposals of this type are not particularly helpful either.) Kirill (prof) 05:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed, per [49], Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive68#Right_to_vanish.2C_vandals.2C_and_XP, Special:Undelete/User:Rootology, and [50] [51] [52] [53] [54]. John254 05:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
How exactly is it a LIBEL or outing of anything, when Jossi openly discusses his affiliations with the Prem Rawat religious organization?
"As I have accepted a position in a related organization, I may reduce the level of my involvement in editing articles related to Prem Rawat and organizations that support his work."[55]
He openly acknowledges his engagement with and employment therein. Whats the outing, exactly? That page is linked right in public off his userspace. rootology (C)(T) 05:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You didn't provide the link at the time you made the comment. In any case, your comments amount to an irrelevant personal attack, since the WP:BLP violations by Cirt at issue here didn't relate to Prem Rawat in any way. John254 05:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I will not edit this page again; but your bullying tactics are appalling and Wikipedia is the worse for your behavior. rootology (C)(T) 05:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Reply to Kirill: I mentioned the Rawat association in relation this, and because of Jossi's mysterious appearance here, when he had no major involvement in the case, and only to attack Cirt, who he has long had bad blood for, as seen in Cirt's RFA. It was to me an extra level of unhelpful. rootology (C)(T) 05:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
"Mysterious"? I agree! Just check my name as a party in this arbitration. (lol!) ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:35, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
As I said, that's quite irrelevant here. Assuming good faith doesn't suddenly become inapplicable merely because the page has "Requests for arbitration" in its title. Please tone down your comments; tangential accusations of people belonging to cults are unacceptable. Kirill (prof) 05:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I will not post here again. I only ask that you act to curb these bullying tactics by some of the people on this page. rootology (C)(T) 05:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Cirt desysopped

1) Template:Admin's administrative privileges are revoked indefinitely, and may not be restored except by the Arbitration Committee.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Nah. Cirt does good work, as long as it unrelated to the subject of this arbitration or new religious movements, in which it seems he is incapable to restrain himself. Cirt does not seem to have abused the tools, so desysopping may be unwarranted. OTOH, banning from certain articles for a good period of time, will surely protect Cirt from eventually getting to the point in which he harms himself enough that desysopping may be an option. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. John254 21:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose - Sourcing issues that should have been taken to RS/N can still be taken to RS/N. Cirt has been a valuable contributor, and effective admin. Furthermore, he does not even use his admin tools in this area, so it is inapplicable. --GoodDamon 22:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material provides high sourcing requirements for controversial information concerning living persons, extraordinary remedies for the removal of the offending material, and severe administrative sanctions for editors who violate the provision. The breach of this particular clause of the biographies of living persons policy is a far more serious offense than ordinary "poor sourcing" unrelated to any particular living people. The importance of the biographies of living persons policy is such that we should not countenance administrators seriously and repeatedly violating it. Moreover, when Cirt's request for adminship was approved, he refused to disclose the identities of his prior accounts and requested the deletion of the accounts' talk pages [56] [57], thereby hiding the fact that his seven prior blocks for edit warring [58] [59] related to new-age religious groups similar to the Church of Scientology. John254 22:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, first, I think Durova pretty much laid the Smee thing to rest. It's over, it's done with, it's got the Jimbo Wales stamp of approval. Secondly, I took a look at your diffs for proving BLP violation, and I'm afraid I don't see it. I'm not saying it's not there -- perhaps my eyes need to be checked -- but could you please spell out where the BLP violation is? --GoodDamon 23:08, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It's adequately explained in my comment concerning the proposed finding of fact above. Do you contend that blogs and tabloid magazines are actually good reliable sources for making controversial claims concerning living people, or that Cirt was not fully informed of the problems with blogs before he resorted to a tabloid magazine for this purpose? John254 23:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Even if Cirt did inadvertantly or mistakenly use weak sourcing, on a BLP, on what basis does that warrant desysopping someone in this extra-rigid manner? Are you honestly saying Cirt is on the level of, say, User:Archtransit? rootology (C)(T) 23:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
If evidence of Cirt's repeated WP:BLP violations had been available at his request for adminship, it almost certainly would not have passed: the evidence clearly establishes that the edits constituting the WP:BLP violations were deliberate, even if not intended as violations of the policy, and were not merely the product of a simple mistake such as an incorrect mouse-click. Cirt either introduced the offending material himself, without subsequently providing better sources, or restored it, noting its character in the edit summary. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the WP:BLP violations indicate that Cirt either does not understand, or is deliberately disregarding, our Biographies of living persons policy. Whichever may be the case, neither condition is acceptable for an administrator. John254 23:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Hold it--you just crossed a line. You need to put up evidence of "Cirt's repeated WP:BLP violations". Two instances that are at best borderline and were after Cirt's successful, community-mandated RFA. Are you implying that Cirt had some historic history of BLP violations that predated his RFA? If not, your poisoning the well can be seen as a personal attack, or at the least disruptive of the RFAR process. rootology (C)(T) 23:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
As described here, Cirt engaged in two WP:BLP violations, the second after being informed that his first violation was unacceptable, thus justifying the use of the phrase "Cirt's repeated WP:BLP violations". John254 00:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Why are you engaging in such incredible and mean-spirited (even vicious) spin? You specifically wrote,
"If evidence of Cirt's repeated WP:BLP violations had been available at his request for adminship, it almost certainly would not have passed: the evidence clearly establishes that the edits constituting the WP:BLP violations were deliberate"
All of this was AFTER the community gave Cirt a successful RFA. Did Cirt do something to you on the User:John254 username, or another username, in the past, or do you have the luxury of a time machine? Because your arguments make no sense at all now. rootology (C)(T) 00:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
My statement "If evidence of Cirt's repeated WP:BLP violations had been available at his request for adminship, it almost certainly would not have passed..." is hypothetical; obviously evidence of the WP:BLP violations wasn't available at Cirt's request for adminship because he hadn't engaged in the violations yet. Nonetheless, had he engaged in the violations prior to the request for adminship, and were the evidence thus available, the RFA (already controversial) likely would not have passed. John254 00:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
By your own admission, your entire odd platform here comes down to hypotheticals then. An admin in good standing is accused of maybe inserting two BLP violations--possibly borderline ones at that--and then deferring to community wisdom on them. This admin didn't edit war, didn't act incivil, didn't even use admin tools within a hundred leagues of the Scientology articles--but you want to deadmin them extra firm so that only the Arbitration Committee can undo the deadminning, with the extra gravy of a 30-day siteban for one of our most prolific Featured Article writers, who also I believe has 1-2 Main Page appearances. Again, why? What on Earth did Cirt do to merit this over the top level of wrath? Its like having the police shoot someone twice because they may or may not have ran a red light. rootology (C)(T) 00:20, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Wow, this is just plain mean and vindictive, and unsupported by any evidence of misuse of admin tools that warrant making someone an unperson administratively. rootology (C)(T) 23:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Ridiculous. No substantial evidence has been presented that Cirt misused his administrative tools. Also, why the difference from the usual standard permitting either an appeal or an RFA to restore? Stifle (talk) 10:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose without qualifications or reservations. I haven't been around much lately, but in the time I was more active I never had any reason to think of Cirt as being anything other than one of our best editors as well as someone who has tried very hard to be objective and impartial. Nothing I have seen on the pages of this RfA give me any cause to think that this has changed recently. Individual concerns about BLP and other RS matters would reasonably be raised on those pages, rather than made as the basis for what can easily be seen as being a vindictive attempt against one of our best editors. John Carter (talk) 17:23, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, no Jehochman Talk 11:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely no. This is grossly excessive, to the point of being vindictive. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I know I'm meant to assume good faith, but this is borderline malicious. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:52, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. This proposal is out of proportion to any minor violations.   Will Beback  talk  19:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose This proposal is completely unwarranted and extreme.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:32, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt banned for 30 days

2) Template:Admin's editing privileges are revoked for a period of 30 days.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. John254 21:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose - This seems merely punitive, and I can't see the reasoning behind it. --GoodDamon 22:15, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
After being blocked seven times [60] [61] for edit warring largely related to new age religious groups similar to the Church of Scientology, Cirt gained adminship while refusing to disclose the identities of his prior accounts, then proceed to engage in two successive and serious WP:BLP violations on articles related to the Church of Scientology as described above, while his administrative office avoided the imposition of sanctions, since administrators often presume propriety in the conduct of, and show considerable reluctance to block, other sysops. A 30 day ban may be necessary to demonstrate that this sort of disruption will not be tolerated. John254 22:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Vindictive proposal unsupported by precedent or evidence. rootology (C)(T) 23:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Vexatious. Stifle (talk) 10:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Please withdraw. Jehochman Talk 11:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Punative, vexatious and vindictive. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Blocks are not to be used as punishment, this much is clear in the admin's handbook. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Nope, as we don't block people simply because we're mad at them. SDJ 18:36, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose That is not the best idea, sorry. Ecoleetage (talk) 05:25, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
This proposal is out of proportion to any minor violations.   Will Beback  talk  19:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose Unwarranted and unsupported proposal.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:34, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt admonished

3) Template:Admin is admonished to edit in compliance with the biographies of living persons policy, and is warned that future violations may result in the revocation of his editing privileges for an extended period of time. John254 21:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. John254 21:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Weakly opposed - If Cirt is to be admonished for a few poor instances of sourcing, I can provide you literally hundreds of instances of pro-Scientology editors sourcing directly to Church-owned websites. I will change my vote here if this proposal is modified to reflect admonishment in proportion to the use of poor sourcing. --GoodDamon 22:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material provides high sourcing requirements for controversial information concerning living persons, extraordinary remedies for the removal of the offending material, and severe administrative sanctions for editors who violate the provision. The breach of this particular clause of the biographies of living persons policy is a far more serious offense than ordinary "poor sourcing" unrelated to any particular living people. John254 22:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
You keep saying that, so for the record, here is the applicable text from BLP, verbatim:

Template:Divbox

I see no evidence that Cirt edit-warred over anything, and even proceeded with RfCs in several cases. He may have chosen a few poor sources, but he did not violate this clause of WP:BLP. --GoodDamon 23:18, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
In one case, Cirt restored the offending material after another editor had removed it, while, in the other, he first introduced the offending material into the article. To editors who aren't wikilawyering, the instruction to
Remove any contentious material about living persons that is unsourced; that is a conjectural interpretation of a source (see Wikipedia:No original research); or that relies upon self-published sources (unless written by the subject of the BLP; see below) or sources that otherwise fail to meet standards specified in Wikipedia:Verifiability.
obviously forbids the introduction of the offending material to the article in the first place. Yet even for editors who insist upon wikilawyering the biographies of living persons policy, Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources clearly and expressly proscribes the introduction of inadequately sourced information concerning living people into Wikipedia articles:
Material about living persons must be sourced very carefully. Without reliable third-party sources, it may include original research and unverifiable statements, and could lead to libel claims.
Material about living persons available solely in questionable sources or sources of dubious value should not be used, either as a source or as an external link (see above).
Never use self-published books, zines, websites, webforums, and blogs as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the article (see below). "Self-published blogs" in this context refers to personal and group blogs. Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control. Where a news organization publishes the opinions of a professional but claims no responsibility for the opinions, the writer of the cited piece should be attributed (e.g., "Jane Smith has suggested..."). Posts left by readers may never be used as sources.[1]
Avoid repeating gossip. Ask yourself whether the source is reliable; whether the material is being presented as true; and whether, even if true, it is relevant to an encyclopedia article about the subject. When less-than-reliable publications print material they suspect is untrue, they often include weasel phrases and attributions to anonymous sources. Look out for these. If the original publication doesn't believe its own story, why should we?
John254 23:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
John, no one is wikilawyering. BLP provides drastic measures as options in cases of edit-warring to insert violations. Cirt didn't edit-war. Cirt introduced material (or restored material deleted by another user), but went with consensus when it was against him. You are free to disagree with Cirt over whether a source is reliable or not -- heck, I certainly do -- but you are not free to impose restrictions on him when he didn't war over that source. Simple test: Did Cirt keep reinserting the material, or did he put in requests for comment, and abide by the results of those requests? If the former, then sure, ban him. But it wasn't the former, it was the latter. BLP does not say "Disagree with the quality of this user's proposed material? Ban him!" --GoodDamon 23:49, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Rather than quoting BLP--Do no harm, see, anyone can do it--how about demonstrating specifically the ongoing serial nature of Cirt's wrongdoing that warrants a monthlong block and perma-deadminning that you're advocating? rootology (C)(T) 23:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Admonished for what? Wheres the evidence of serially doing this? If one source is judged by the AC to be weak or dodgy, and wasn't warred over by Cirt, whats there to admonish? "Cirt didn't jump through real-time hoops in this specific instance and used a source that may or may not be great, so is admonished." ? rootology (C)(T) 23:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources requires that all controversial information concerning living persons be attributed to reliable sources from the very moment it is introduced into Wikipedia articles. One can't simply add {{refimprove}} to the article and then come back to it later. As described above, Cirt has engaged in serious violations of the policy twice, once after being clearly informed of his prior violation. John254 23:43, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Your arguments are vexatious and drama-super amplifying in their wording, and you're taking a pointless flamethrower to the fields here. Cirt actually initiated the RFC in the first instance, deferred to the community, and let it be. The sex & scientology topic after it was removed was never re-added after being discussed. The community decides what violates BLP, not John254; and Cirt simply deferred to the wisdom of his peers. Do you have any evidence of ongoing serial malfeasance by the guy? Please list it if you do, because two at best debatable edits based on the POV of the reviewer do not rise to the level of any ongoing "abuse" the warrants taking an admin in good standing out behind the shed for the Steward chopping block. rootology (C)(T) 23:51, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The biographies of living persons policy is, in the most clear-cut cases, enforced administratively, as described in Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material. If we have, then, an administrator who must repeatedly "[defer] to the wisdom of his peers" even to recognize obvious WP:BLP violations, he should not hold the position. John254 00:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Twice is the new "repeatedly"? If admins are to summarily executed for "two" arguable errors, which are still completely up for debate as errors, are we going to lower the RFA threshold to say 25% support to replenish the loss of admins we're about to see? Also, aren't you the guy that keeps filing frivilous and drama-laden RFARs that don't involve you even though people keep telling you to stop? Does that mean you should be topic-banned from RFARs that don't name you as a party from before the filing? For example, this one? Geese=gander, etc. rootology (C)(T) 00:27, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference between two simple mistakes, and two actions which indicate that an administrator may not understand one of our basic policies. We depend on the judgment of the arbitrators to tell the difference. The fact that Cirt couldn't actually recognize his obviously inappropriate additions of controversial material concerning living people as errors until many other editors informed him of this fact is perhaps more important than the initial addition or restoration of the offending content. Now, if you're going to make an ad hominem argument against me such as "aren't you the guy that keeps filing frivilous and drama-laden RFARs that don't involve you" [62], I could refute your point either of two ways. I could note the percentage of cases that were actually accepted, and that the acceptance or denial of a request for arbitration is much less predictable than the operation of the plain language contained in Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources. Alternatively, I could point out that you were, until recently, indefinitely banned for some pretty extensive disruption. WP:KETTLE, anyone? John254 01:00, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome to call on my history, as I've never made any secret of it, but calling it "extensive" is a subjective thing to say, as it is if I say you've extensively disrupting RFAR as others have asked you about[63][64]. You're still here on RFAR pages, though, and appear to be a pretty good vandal fighter and stuck around despite having a lot of crap hurled at you, and I'm still here, despite having a lot of crap on and off-wiki hurled at me, and have even managed to start producing featured content myself. And "recently"? Seven months is recent?
My point is simple: we've never deadminned admins for two borderline mistakes, and it would be terribly irresponsible to deadmin a good-standing feature-writing admin who had 166 supports and passed with 79% even after their history of being harassed off-wiki was outed. The fact that Cirt is willing to stick around after taking so much crap and abuse (like you and I!), and has never once been challenged for using any admin tools in an area he's so involved with--Scientology--says reams. You're basically advocating that we discard one of our top featured content writers and admins over utterly borderline issues, that were self-corrected and acknowledged by Cirt himself. There's simply no ground, merit, standing, precedent, or reason to sanction Cirt with your proposals of de-adminning and sitebanning for a month. At all.
Cirt in general should be commended for his restraint and for helping to defend Wikipedia against abusive sockpuppetry and ROLE accounts which are a danger to this website through coordinated attacks against our neutrality. rootology (C)(T) 01:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The issue is hardly "two borderline mistakes" -- it's one of an administrator who not only violated Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources twice, but insisted, and, as described above, continues to insist in his own evidence submitted to this very proceeding, that violations of Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources are like ordinary content disputes, that we can just discuss the issue on the talk page and everything will be okay. In fact, Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material clearly states that the sourcing requirements are administratively enforceable, and rather strongly implies that the offending content should never appear in the article at all, something an administrator should certainly be expected to understand. John254 01:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Jehochman Talk 11:40, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. As I said before, I don't see any problems with Cirt's edits, and I don't see how threatening to remove his privileges would stop him posting BLPs, even if he was. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:15, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. As Chase me has said. A reminder to all editors would not be inappropriate, but we can't single out individuals on the basis of very weak evidence. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Unnecessary since Cirt has acknowledged his error and hasn't repeated it.   Will Beback  talk  19:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose Insufficient evidence to warrant admonishment.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:36, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

Template

1) {text of proposed enforcement}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Template

2) {text of proposed enforcement}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposals by User:GoodDamon

Proposed principles

WP:SOCK and WP:ROLE are not optional

1) If claims of mitigating circumstances such as shared proxies are not backed by evidence thereof, a checkuser-determination of sockpuppetry stands. When the sockpuppets in question edit solely on behalf of the organization their IP addresses are traced to, they may be presumed to be WP:ROLE accounts. --GoodDamon 23:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
"Sockpuppetry" relates to the same individual operating more than one account while claiming that they are different people. A "role account" is a registered account that is used by more than one individual. I understand the issues raised concerning editing from certain IP addresses, but I do not see how invoking either of these concepts is relevant or advances the discussion. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
@Newyorkbrad: I had assumed -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that one of the ways sockpuppetry is determined is through the results of checkuser, and that role accounts are often identifiable as coming from the organization that established them. In this case, we have multiple single-purpose accounts that have edited from multiple Church of Scientology-owned IP addresses, and all push the same POV and edit with the same level of contentiousness. I can't think of anything more demonstrative of sock/meat puppetry or role accounts, short of actually watching someone use two accounts or trade an account back and forth with someone else. Is there some form of additional verification that needs to be done? --GoodDamon 02:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
GD, as I have repeated to you, ROLE and SOCK refer to very specific things. They are not catchall terms for abusive editing. Actually, a ROLE account would likely exhibit the opposite of what you describe. Instead of multiple accounts editing similarly, we would have one account that might exhibit strikingly different editing styles. ROLE definitely does not apply here. Nor does SOCK, really. No-one ever claimed seriously that the editors in question were the same individual. No, GD, there is an issue here and it is neither SOCK nor ROLE, nor even MEAT really. The issue is COI and the appearance of COI and it would be helpful to limit our discussion to that as regards Shutterbug et al. --Justallofthem (talk) 14:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Sockpuppets are checkuser or otherwise verified multiple accounts operated by the same user. Two or more people working in concert to push a POV would be meatpuppets, which are to be treated the same as sockpuppets, so whether Misou and Shutterbug are actually being operated by the same person is academic. Role accounts are accounts established by an organization for a specific purpose, and again, whether multiple people are actually using them or not is academic. Personally, with the similarities in editing behavior and POV, and all the shared Church IP addresses and anonymous proxies, I no longer have any clear idea how many people are behind any of the accounts, and frankly, I don't think it really matters anymore. --GoodDamon 16:46, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support. If editors are using an organization's IPs, and are editing to promote an organization's POV, then they should be regarded as role accounts. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Unsupported conclusions. Editors editing from an identifiable organizational IP are neither ROLE accounts, sockpuppets, or even meatpuppets simply by virtue of editing from an identifiable organizational IP, especially if that IP is for an international organization. Whether they have a presumed COI is another issue but this statement is unsupported by logic. --Justallofthem (talk) 17:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Justallofthem, they're not "editing from an identifiable organizational IP," they're editing from an identifiable Church of Scientology-owned IP. It's not just some random organization. And the thing is, you know that. I can't believe you would simply overlook the importance of that. You're being deliberately obfuscatory on this, and I can't figure out why. This isn't an instance of a bunch of people from an organization editing in unrelated articles. If employees of Ford Motor Company were editing in the Dusky-Footed Woodrat article, I don't think anyone would even take note. --GoodDamon 19:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Huh, I would think that you are "deliberately" misunderstanding me except I do not think you would. You started by generalizing this point you bring up, I just continued that theme. Of course, in this case, the "identifiable organizational IP" is the Church. I say, and have always said, that there may be a COI issue. I reject your claim that ROLE, SOCK, and MEAT apply a priori. --Justallofthem (talk) 19:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I guess I want to know why you reject them. Were we discussing any other topic, from politics to fruitcakes, checkuser-verified socks -> belonging to an organization devoted to the topic -> that edit solely in that topic -> that edit solely from a promotional POV -> would be banned almost immediately, with your full support. And I'm not even asking for banning, I'm just asking for topic-banning. --GoodDamon 21:35, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with a Microsoft employee editing the Vista article provided that they declare their COI and otherwise follow the rules here. That is all that WP:COI requires. There is a difference between a PR flack editing here and some random employee. COI is not black and white but in no case is the editor outright topic-banned unless they do something to deserve that. You really need to understand what ROLE, SOCK, and MEAT are because you are not, my friend, using them correctly in this context. No-one ever claimed that Shutterbug was a ROLE account. No-one ever seriously claimed that Shutterbug and Misou were socks. There was serious discussion as to whether they might co-ordinate their edits, i.e. act as meatpuppets, and there was a resolution put in place to address that. But I wish that you would stop with the ROLE and SOCK claims as regards Shutterbug and Misou. --Justallofthem (talk) 22:04, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose for several reasons:
  • A WP:SOCK is "an alternative account used for fraudulent, disruptive, or otherwise deceptive purposes that violate or circumvent enforcement of Wikipedia policies." This assumes the account is used at the same time as the other "alternative account". No evidence has been brought forth that accounts editing from the same IP have been used concurrently. Further no evidence has been brought forth that accounts sharing the same IP[65] have used their account "for fraudulent, disruptive, or otherwise deceptive purposes that violate or circumvent enforcement of Wikipedia policies". I am not saying that such evidence does not exist. It was not presented however and I could not find any.
"No evidence that accounts editing from the same IP have been used concurrently"? Have you looked at checkuser results? There are multiple accounts verified to have edited from individual, church-owned IP addresses. That isn't even in dispute. --GoodDamon 00:49, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I did look at the checkuser results. Actually several checkusers have been done in the past 2 years and all results from all times have been slapped together in one grid (by Cirt). No evidence of concurrent editing has been shown and the grid shows clearly that several ISPs have been used by several people. But this is not my issue. WP:SHARE already says that "Checkusers cannot look through the wire to see who uses the computer at the other end." I just cannot find that those accounts were "used for fraudulent, disruptive, or otherwise deceptive purposes that violate or circumvent enforcement of Wikipedia policies" or evidence that the accounts are operated by the same person (only that would make them sock puppets). I am trying to point out the logical fallacies of your proposition but you do not seem interested. Shrampes (talk) 03:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • User:GoodDamons proposal asks the editors in question to waive their privacy rights and present personal data to defend themselves. I don't think that is common praxis on Wikipedia. Lastly, there has been no evidence for WP:ROLE accounts (multiple editors using the same identity).
No, it asks the editors in question not to edit in Scientology-related articles because they have a built-in, insurmountable conflict of interest. And as for evidence concerning WP:ROLE, there's never any way to prove it beyond actually filming two people logging in with the same account. You might as well not have a policy on role accounts if you can't take the circumstantial evidence of multiple accounts sharing the same IP addresses owned by the organization the article is about, and editing from the organization's POV, and use that to add 2 and 2. --GoodDamon 00:49, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
You leave me baffled. Honestly, are you trolling? I know employees that do not talk nicely about their company most of the time. What is wrong with their "built-in, insurmountable conflict of interest"? What you are saying does not make sense. Sorry, but their visible behavior counts, not what you figure they think. Shrampes (talk) 03:42, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry it took so long to respond to this. But... I could ask you the same thing. Of course there are people who don't talk nicely about their companies most of the time. But those people don't generally spend hours every day editing Wikipedia to add positive material about their companies, sourced to their companies' websites. They don't generally demonstrate a conflict of interest. So... Frankly, you've left me scratching my head, trying to figure out what the heck your argument is. --GoodDamon 04:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This proposal tries to change the definition of WP:ROLE accounts to say that users with a shared IP must be banned. WP:ROLE currently means "A role account is an account that is not associated with a particular person, but with an office, position, or task." and not "multiple users with a shared IP". Such policy changes require broad consensus.
I have no way of knowing if one or many people are behind any of the accounts in question. Again, you're arguing against the very existence of the WP:ROLE policy at this point. --GoodDamon 00:49, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I quoted earlier what a WP:ROLE account is. Please show me where the "WP:ROLE policy" is. My Wikipedia does not have one. Shrampes (talk) 03:42, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Huh? Are you pulling my leg? It's a policy of the foundation. Accounts established by organizations for a specific purpose are not permitted on any Wikimedia foundation sites, with the exception of User:Schwartz PR. --GoodDamon 04:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This proposal tries to circumvent quality control of editor contributions and potentially inflates the number of harassing checkuser requests. I am certain that there are many Microsoft employees in Wikipedia editing Macintosh or Vista articles. The professional background of the editor will go unnoticed in 100% of all cases, but his edits are open to scrutiny by the community. This is how it should be. If any of his background would be known any edits could be dismissed simply by pointing to the editor (and not the edit), saying "the edit must be bad because he works for Microsoft" . Shrampes (talk) 22:53, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Another argument against WP:ROLE itself. And your analogy is fallacious, because such an editor would get noticed -- and probably banned -- if they edited only in the Vista article, and only to promote it. That is called a single-purpose account, and as long as such accounts edit neutrally, they're fine. But when they edit from a promotional POV, and work for the organization they're promoting, that attracts attention. --GoodDamon 00:49, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
How would a ROLE account editor be noticed other than by declaring his WP:COI? Shrampes (talk) 03:42, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I suppose the only way you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that an account is being used that way is by watching two different people log into it. Fortunately, that's not the standard of proof we have to use here. --GoodDamon 04:12, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The relevant policies are WP:NPOV, WP:COI and WP:MEAT. Editing persistently contrary to WP:NPOV in support of organizational allegiance is a conflict of interest. Editors indistinguishable from one another can be treated as one. We have a passel of accounts doing COI editing on behalf of the CoS. The obvious remedy is to ban editing by the CoS from their network, including the meat puppet accounts (drop in list). Jehochman Talk 14:43, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Shutterbug, Misou, and all associated accounts editing from Church IP addresses

1) User:Shutterbug, User:Misou, and any account that has edited from or currently edits from IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology are not exempt from WP:SOCK or WP:ROLE. They are established as single-purpose sock or meatpuppet accounts editing on behalf of the Church of Scientology. Editors in good standing who do not edit on behalf of any organization cannot be expected to edit productively in an atmosphere dominated by the organization most responsible for promotion of the article's topic, and should not be expected to tolerate it.

Comment by Arbitrators:
See my comment on the principle just above. There may be a need to address these accounts, but terms such as "sock" or "role account" are not really relevant. Labeling is never a good substitute for analysis. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Are we saying that any edit on any topic related to Scientology is an edit "on behalf of the Church of Scientology"? To give an analogy, would we view every edit made from a Vatican IP, to any article related to Christianity, as an edit made "on behalf of the Vatican"? I think we are in danger of forgetting that we are dealing with real, flesh-and-blood people here, who see a mass of sometimes badly sourced articles in Wikipedia that treat their religion much as Islam is treated by sites like http://www.prophetofdoom.net. I would be more sympathetic to your line of reasoning if Wikipedia were swamped with articles extremely flattering to the Church, but that is not the case. Instead, there is a long history of edit-wars over the inclusion of material sourced to self-published anti-Scientology sites, in breach of content policies and guidelines, and it is the Scientology opponents who have historically been in the majority and won these edit wars. Jayen466 15:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That argument, much like Shutterbug's own, is essentially an argument against the WP:SOCK policy and the WP:ROLE policy. If an IP address tracing back to the Vatican consistently only edits in articles about Catholicism, and only ever adds material in favor Catholicism or removes material disparaging to Catholicism, and there are multiple accounts associated with that IP address that all behave in the same way... Then yes, we would view those edits as "on behalf of the Vatican." That theoretical editor has a built-in conflict of interest at bare minimum. As for bad sources in Wikipedia, I agree with you completely... and that has absolutely no bearing on this. Bad sources for content and role accounts are two entirely separate issues, and frankly I think this is the wrong forum for content issues. If you regard a source as bad, you RfC it, or you take it to RS/N. With BLPs, you take the source out of the article immediately (and if you're the one who added it in the first place, you accept that removal instead of edit-warring over it)... and then you RfC it, or you take it to RS/N. It's not a complicated process, but it's a process that never happened with the sources you've been talking about. Don't get me wrong, the majority of them should be purged... I think we absolutely have consensus on that. But what that has to do with this arbitration, I just can't figure out. --GoodDamon 16:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - Again, illogical. No editor here is exempt from ROLE or SOCK. That is a meaningless statement. Followed by the unsupported claim that these are "established", presumably by the organization, and that they are SOCK and MEAT. Next, the idea that Shutterbug or any other of the subject editors "dominates" in the Scientology series is just ludicrous. The series is "dominated" by Cirt, an anti-NRM POV-warrior. Scientology articles have always been "dominated" by critics which is why they read as they do; lots of understanding of criticism, little understanding of Scientology. If Scientologists are expected to edit alongside confirmed anti-Scientologists, some of whom stand outside Churches wearing masks and being rowdy and some of whom maintain personal sites devoted to criticism of Scientology then critics and others can show a little hospitality to Scientologists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Justallofthem (talkcontribs) 17:47, December 12, 2008
Comment by others:
Per the original arbitration, which established both the puppetry and likely WP:ROLE status of the accounts, and the ownership of the IP addresses from which the accounts were/are editing, in a checkuser. --GoodDamon 22:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Multiple single purpose accounts place other editors at a disadvantage and inevitably skew articles towards the organization's POV. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Again, the quality of contribution counts and not "religion, philosophy, race, nationality" or anything else like that. No evidence has been brought forth that edits of these editors have harmed Wikipedia. All I could find is that they are WP:SPAs. Shrampes (talk) 22:59, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - Proposal says that such editors are "not exempt" from WP:SOCK and WP:ROLE. It does not specifically state that those rules will be instantly applied in all cases. As such, I think it is primarily just an attempt to apply an existing rule in a specific situation, which is also a situation which probably exists with several other countries, churches, and other organizations as well. John Carter (talk) 19:21, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment. This "They are established as single-purpose sock or meatpuppet accounts editing on behalf of the Church of Scientology." is a lie and a "conclusion" from some checkuser "results". None of the checkusers noted how often edits where done from what IP etc. (which would have shown rare edits from church owned IPs) but even as it is the conclusion cannot be made. The conclusion is also false. Shutterbug (talk) 05:03, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Support certain parts: "Editors in good standing who do not edit on behalf of any organization cannot be expected to edit productively in an atmosphere dominated by the organization most responsible for promotion of the article's topic, and should not be expected to tolerate it." This makes a lot of sense to me; however, although they may be 'meatpuppet' account, I've spoken to JustAnother via email in the past, and I'm quite convinced that he's not related to Misou. A conflict of interest is, however, apparent. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:17, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I haven't named Justallofthem/Justanother in any way in this. I strongly disagree with that user on some things, but I have seen no evidence that he is anything but an independent editor. --GoodDamon 03:43, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so you have - but I'm still only supporting parts of this. Sweeping statements are a bit much, but the final sentence is perfect. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 13:26, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Shutterbug, Misou, and other accounts found to edit from Church of Scientology addresses topic-banned

1) All accounts found to edit on behalf of the Church of Scientology are topic-banned indefinitely. They are not banned from Wikipedia, and are invited to edit productively in other areas of interest.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment: Misou's IP usage was found to be unrelated to that of the others in the CU. On what basis is he included here? Jayen466 14:57, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Also see my comment above, timed 15:24, 12 December 2008. Jayen466 15:32, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Read further down in the same checkuser you link. He/she was later confirmed. --GoodDamon 16:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
All I see is "Unrelated Misou's IP usage is unrelated to the others." What are you referring to? I also wonder if the use of http://your-freedom.net by Scientologists could possibly be related to the fact that computers in Scientology buildings are said to have a filtering software installed that blocks access to many critical sites, including, possibly, Scientology articles on Wikipedia. Because getting round such filters is what your-freedom.net is mainly designed for. Jayen466 16:46, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Misou and an account called User:Grrrilla were confirmed further down. Seriously, just keep scrolling. It's right there. --GoodDamon 17:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That was in May 2007. The remedies currently in place were formulated several months after that. They did not specify that Misou was forbidden to edit Scientology-related articles. Hence I see no valid reason for editors to object to Misou editing the articles, absent any specific problems with his editing. Jayen466 20:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
These things are big and rather confusing, so I thought I should point these results to you as well. Misou is actually one of the accounts that has used a lot of Church-associated IP addresses and open proxies. --GoodDamon 21:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
[66] Jayen466 22:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Ummm... Alrighty, then. [67]. --GoodDamon 23:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and uhh, actually, if they're using proxies to get around filters in Scientology buildings, isn't that kind of indicative of the problem? --GoodDamon 17:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment: The edit behavior of those editors needs to be reviewed and weighted before this proposal can even be considered. All I have seen here is opinion not supported by diffs. A short check on the last edits of the concerned editors does not reveal problematic edits. Shrampes (talk) 05:06, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I still think it's a bit early in the case to be proposing remedies, especially broad restrictive remedies. Hasty solutions seldom cover every angle effectively. How would you know who's from the Church of Scientology if they switch over to the complete use of proxies? How would you distinguish between ordinary Scientologists editing from their homes over something they care about, from believers of any other religion doing the same thing? And would you allow them to use article talk pages, noticeboards, and dispute resolution pertinent to Scientology or would they be restricted to OTRS? Those are just some practical concerns that come to mind; I don't mean to imply agreement or disagreement. At this point I'll keep an open mind. DurovaCharge! 05:20, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
An assumption of innocence based on unprovable and unlikely claims of a shared proxy cannot and should not be used to sidestep WP:SOCK. --GoodDamon 23:23, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Support Based on years of history, it can no longer be assumed that these editors can follow NPOV on the topic of Scientology. There is no reason to believe that they would be biased on unrelated topics. ("Unrelated" defined broadly.) ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support Having interacted directly with some of these users and extensively reviewing their history, it is clear to me that they have a very strong POV which can get in the way of constructive editing. Although this in itself is not necessarily grounds to ban, due to the repeated history of using open proxies and official Church of Scientology-owned IPs (sorry, ns1.scientology.org is NOT a kiosk proxy), I believe that a topic ban (not global) is well in order. Spidern 03:24, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment Having looked at some edit histories and interactions, it is clear to me that most of the other editors contributing to these articles have very strong anti-Scientology POVs that get in the way of constructive editing. Eschewing the entire body of published scholarly literature (except Stephen A. Kent, of course) in favour of whyaretheydead.net and Operation Clambake is ample evidence of that. How would you like to address that problem? Or do you think the articles will get better if we just leave the field to the anti-Scientology crowd? I would suggest both sides have to learn to work together, using proper sources. As Template:User pointed out, there is published analysis and criticism of Scientology as well, it's just a bit more responsible and intelligent than what you find on the net. I am sure we can get Scientologists to see that criticism published in bona fide, reliable sources must have its place in these articles. But that is a whole lot different from the sort of polemics and ridicule passed off as NPOV editing by some editors in the past. Jayen466 17:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Again I ask what that has to do with sockpuppetry and role accounts? You seem to be saying, "Some editors have use bad sources. Therefore, we should ignore role accounts and the policy they violate." Seriously, what are you trying to say? You have well established that there are sourcing issues. No one contests that. But it has nothing to do with this issue. --GoodDamon 17:26, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:ROLE states: "A role account is an account that is not associated with a particular person, but with an office, position, or task. Those doing the task use the account only to do the task. They have other accounts for other work." I do not think that Template:User is such an account. I believe the account is associated with a particular person, who has edited Wikipedia from various locations, including buildings owned by the Church of Scientology. Jayen466 20:57, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's one of the things checkuser is for. At this point, it boils down to how believable the proxy argument is. The arbiters aren't idiots, and will be able to judge that for themselves. --GoodDamon 22:00, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Response to Jayen466 See prior evidence provided by Template:User. Spidern 15:32, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I am aware of last year's Checkuser result, and of the remedies that resulted from them. They did not prohibit Misou from editing. What has changed to make these remedies inappropriate now? Jayen466 15:53, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Those remedies were in part predicated on the notion that the proxy argument held water. As you are aware, there are several editors who feel that recent discussions on the matter have rendered those arguments highly unlikely. --GoodDamon 22:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced. The whole idea that this is some kind of official drive by the CofS is ludicrous. Jayen466 23:51, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Then you will remain unconvinced. I doubt there's very much I could say to change your mind, so this is another issue we'll need to leave up to the arbitrators to decide. But if you're interested, you might read up on the history between Scientology and the Internet (before wikilinking this one, I made sure most of the cites were good ones). --GoodDamon 01:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. A member of the Church of Scientology editing a Church of Scientology article from the Church of Scientology's IP address is just a little bit of a CoI. What's more, most of the accounts tend to only edit Scientology-related articles. While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I wouldn't be allowed to edit the article about my ship on Wikipedia - so I'm no sure why the IQs from the Church of Scientology are allowed to. As a matter of interest, is there a reason why the editors concerned edit from Scientology addresses, and not from home addresses? Is it a place of work, or do they have a 'cyber-cafe' on the premises? Do they live there? I'm not after personal information, but if someone could point out to me why they tend to edit almost entirely from there, it'd help. In my experience, Scientology buildings only allow 'volunteer staff' to use the computers in the building - certainly not lay scientologists. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:29, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by Jossi

Proposed principles

Neutral point of view and sourcing

1) Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view; that is, they must portray all significant points of view in a fairly and accurately manner, and Wikipedia's nature as an encyclopaedia demand that articles should always use the best and most reputable sources. A neutral point of view cannot be synthesized merely by presenting a plurality of opposing viewpoints, each derived from a polarized source.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:45, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Jayen466 21:02, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Shrampes (talk) 04:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support John Carter (talk) 17:26, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I'm a little cautious about the wording here. I'm going to propose a slight re-wording: "Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view. Wikipedia's nature as an encyclopaedia demands that articles should always use the reliable sources. A neutral point of view can be replaced by presenting a plurality of opposing viewpoints, if there are no neutral sources available." I've re-worded it because, in my estimation, that's what the policy says. I'm also concerned about the wording of the entire statement: in the first sentence, you state that "a neutral point of view... must portray all significant points of view", but then you go on to state that it "cannot be synthesized merely by presenting a plurality of opposing viewpoints". These, to me, seem to be mutually exclusive. NPOV is about providing a neutral point of view, or, if that's not possible, presenting all opposing points fairly and accurately. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. There's no need to add a definition of NPOV to this case. I disagree also with Chase me ladies. We don't require neutral sources, just a neutral viewpoint on those sources.   Will Beback  talk  22:18, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Reliance on secondary sources

2) Wikipedia articles should rely mainly on reliable secondary sources. This means that while primary sources can be used to support specific statements of fact limited to descriptive aspects of these primary sources, the bulk of the article should rely on secondary sources.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Strongly support. This has been a serious, ongoing problem with Scientology-related articles. We make far too extensive use of primary sources, and often in a manner which amounts to original research by synthesis. *** Crotalus *** 15:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support I have been attempting to improve the quality of Scientology-related articles by removing secondary(typo) primary sources and participating in dialogue to find objective alternative secondary sources. Spidern 16:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support - and I think Spidern above meant "removing primary sources" in favor of the more reliable secondary ones. :) --GoodDamon 16:16, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support Convenience links to primary sources should only be given where secondary sources specifically mention these primary sources. Quotes from or content summaries of the primary sources should be limited to the extent to which these have been quoted or summarised in secondary literature published by reputable publishing houses. Jayen466 17:20, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Shrampes (talk) 04:01, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support - There are times, and this might be one of them, where secondary sources which both sides agree are "reliable" might be hard to decide, but the effort should be made in any event. John Carter (talk) 17:29, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This is more like it. Secondary is what we should aim for, but in some cases, primary is acceptable, I think. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This is a well-established principle.   Will Beback  talk  22:19, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia content policies

"Neutral point of view", "Verifiability" and "No original research" are the three core content policies of Wikipedia. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles, and thus they should not be interpreted or applied in isolation from one another, or one at the expense of another.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:24, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support. Shrampes (talk) 04:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:47, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Template

1) {text of proposed finding of fact}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Template

2) {text of proposed finding of fact}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposed remedies

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

Cirt banned for 12 months from editing Scientology and related articles

1) User:Cirt banned for 12 months from editing Scientology and related articles.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Oppose. No evidence of value to support this. Cirt should be commended for his actions in general. User:Jossi was furious over Cirt's RFA, was extremely disruptive and disgruntled there by posting repeatedly, and has now arrived here for political reasons unrelated to the Scientology issues. As a noted POV pusher and advocate for a cult organization, Jossi's suggestions here should be taken with a grain of salt given that Cirt has worked to enforce strict COI policies and controls over neutrality abuse the Church of Scientology, which would run counter to Jossi's own goals of advocacy for his own religious sect. rootology (C)(T) 04:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, this is not a !vote, secondly, this arbitration is not about me, thirdly I don't belong to a religious sect, I am a practicing Jew, and finally, you may consider avoiding poisoning the well and repeating your comments and make constructive proposals and/or arguments instead. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Arbitration is not for revenge. Sorry. rootology (C)(T) 04:56, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Nor is arbitration a forum for unbridled off-the-wall personal attacks against other editors without so much as a shred of supporting evidence. Please see my proposed finding of fact concerning your comments here. John254 05:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Daft. Stifle (talk) 10:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Although BLP violations are not to be taken lightly, Template:User has acknowledged his fault and has not been shown to be in violation of any other policies. Spidern 16:10, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose - The worst that can be said for the two edits under the microscope here is that they were borderline edits that Cirt didn't war over, and appropriately followed up on by going through the RfC process... something I heartily wish more editors would do instead of warring. --GoodDamon 16:32, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. What I can see is that Cirt as an editor has done edits that are slanted to the "negative" or use sensational sources as opposed to available scholarly materials. As editor should be put under probation and scrutiny but a ban is not justified. But his qualifications for Adminship should be reviewed. I expect Administrators to enforce WP:RS, WP:BLP and not to play games with it. Shrampes (talk) 19:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Stongly oppose. Clearly not justified by the evidence. In my experience of collaborating with Cirt to bring articles up to FA standard, I've found him to be extremely conscientious in the use of sources. Occasional mistakes are lessons to be learned from, not cause for punishment. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:08, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose: Even a topic ban is too much here. At most, I'd support a slight admonishment, but not even that, if I'm honest. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Unwarranted and extreme.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. There is no justification for this.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Support in light of Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Scientology-related_accounts_edit_articles_discussing_Xenu, unless Cirt can see his/her way clear to assuming good faith towards Scientology editors, rather than assuming that they must be agents of the Church if they aren't frightened by the word "Xenu" appearing on their screens. Jayen466 15:47, 29 January 2009 (UTC) withdrawn – added in sheer exasperation at the time. Jayen466 16:48, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Jayen466, you're being very tendentious, well on the way to convincing me that we should ban you for 12 months from editing these articles. Why don't you back down before it is too late? Jehochman Talk 16:03, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt banned for 6 months from editing articles related to New religious movements

2) User:Cirt banned for 6 months from editing articles related to New religious movements.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Oppose. No evidence of value to support this. Cirt should be commended for his actions in general. User:Jossi was furious over Cirt's RFA, was extremely disruptive and disgruntled there by posting repeatedly, and has now arrived here for political reasons unrelated to the Scientology issues. As a noted POV pusher and advocate for a cult organization, Jossi's suggestions here should be taken with a grain of salt given that Cirt has worked to enforce strict COI policies and controls over neutrality abuse the Church of Scientology, which would run counter to Jossi's own goals of advocacy for his own religious sect. rootology (C)(T) 04:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
No evidence presented supports this. Stifle (talk) 10:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose on general principle. Ban a major FA contributor from the area of his most common FAs? Ridiculous. --GoodDamon 17:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose. Completely unsupported by the evidence presented. It's hard to see this as anything other than an attempt by Jossi to get rid of an editor with whom he's clashed over Prem Rawat articles. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:08, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose, on the basis of GoodDamon's comment above. I hate to judge, but I don't think that Cirt is really the issue here. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Again, unwarranted and extreme.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:40, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. No evidence of egregious behavior that would support this.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt banned for 6 months from editing BLPs

2) User:Cirt banned for 6 months from editing BLPs ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support per my proposed findings of fact -- however, if we're going to permit Cirt to retain the sysop bit, the WP:BLP ban should be extended to prohibit him from taking any administrative action on, or with respect to edits concerning, content related to any living person. We can hardly allow Cirt to block users for "edit warring" when they have been removing inadequately referenced controversial information concerning living people in conformity to the exception to the 3RR articulated in Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material. It's also worthwhile to note that Cirt currently holds OTRS privileges, which is sad, though the problem appears to be outside of the Arbitration Committee's jurisdiction. John254 03:57, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. No evidence of value to support this. Cirt should be commended for his actions in general. User:Jossi was furious over Cirt's RFA, was extremely disruptive and disgruntled there by posting repeatedly, and has now arrived here for political reasons unrelated to the Scientology issues. As a noted POV pusher and advocate for a cult organization, Jossi's suggestions here should be taken with a grain of salt given that Cirt has worked to enforce strict COI policies and controls over neutrality abuse the Church of Scientology, which would run counter to Jossi's own goals of advocacy for his own religious sect. rootology (C)(T) 04:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
No evidence presented supports this. Stifle (talk) 10:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose - Again, bad sources are what WP:RS/N is for. If Cirt had warred instead of immediately seeking outside comment on his edits, there might, barely, be a threadbare thin argument here. --GoodDamon 17:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly oppose - Evidence presented does not provide sufficient basis for such an extreme action. John Carter (talk) 18:07, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose, as per my comments above. I've seen anti-cult CoI rampant on Wikipedia, especially with regards to Scientology, and Cirt is the one person I've seen who actually tries to be neutral, and succeeds 99% of the time. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:03, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Unwarranted and extreme.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:41, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. We've all made edits to BLPs that don't match the highest standards now in place. This is uncalled for.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt prohibited for 12 months from exercising administrative rights in related articles

3) User:Cirt prohibited for 12 months from exercising any administrative rights in regard of articles related to BLPs and new religious movements, including, but not limited to closing of AfDs, issuing blocks to editors involved in editing these articles, or acting in any related arbitration enforcement.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 04:25, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Oppose. No evidence of value to support this. Cirt should be commended for his actions in general. User:Jossi was furious over Cirt's RFA, was extremely disruptive and disgruntled there by posting repeatedly, and has now arrived here for political reasons unrelated to the Scientology issues. As a noted POV pusher and advocate for a cult organization, Jossi's suggestions here should be taken with a grain of salt given that Cirt has worked to enforce strict COI policies and controls over neutrality abuse the Church of Scientology, which would run counter to Jossi's own goals of advocacy for his own religious sect. rootology (C)(T) 04:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose as a moot point. Cirt has been scrupulous about avoiding using admin tools in this area, from what I understand. --GoodDamon 17:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Baseless and unwarranted.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:43, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. No evidence to support this.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Cirt admonished

4) Template:Admin is strongly admonished for his conduct in this matter and is instructed to refrain from any further incidents of edit warring, biased editing, misrepresentation of sources, or taking taking administrator actions with respect to disputes in articles related to this arbitration case. Cirt is warned that any further such incidents are likely to lead to the banning from editing such articles, or other corrective measures.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:37, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - Because the evidence indicates that Cirt did the opposite of edit warring. The most I could see here is a reminder to Cirt to use better sources. And no one has shown any evidence whatsoever of Cirt abusing admin tools. --GoodDamon 00:55, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
So, make a proposal rather than shooting down all other proposals. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:13, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I already have. I don't see a need to make any further proposals, especially regarding Cirt. To me, this is a very simple issue; I am interested in the topic of Scientology as an academic matter, but have no desire to compete with the Church of Scientology directly to edit in those pages. I am against all these proposals to ban, admonish, desysop, or otherwise punish Cirt that have been coming out of the woodwork, because Cirt is a good editor, and I honestly think the arbitrators will look this workshop over and immediately dismiss them. I don't regard him as needing any sort of sanctions, and consider the proposals for them largely a distraction from a very basic problem of accounts editing from Church of Scientology IP addresses. --GoodDamon 05:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Response to GoodDamon edits such as this [68] [69] clearly constitute anything but "did the opposite of edit warring". Why are you misrepresenting the facts of this case? John254 01:08, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I am officially asking the arbitrators to take a look at precisely those diffs, because you are misrepresenting them and I'm beginning to think you have a vendetta here. The first edit was not edit warring. It was a single revert of a bad deletion that took out a large swath of well-sourced material. Every cite in that block of text was good, and its removal as "off-topic" in the first place was highly inappropriate. The same user removed the block again, with the frankly insulting edit summary of "shameful editing - moving to talk". Moving to talk? Good. Deletion of large chunks of appropriate and on-topic material with an insulting edit summary? Bad. Cirt reached 2RR (not 3RR) on that, as did the frankly vexatious editor doing the deletions, but it did go to talk. And you didn't include this context at all. Not all reverts are edit warring, and you are consistently attempting to portray Cirt's edits in ways that don't add up once you look at the context. And you accuse me of misrepresenting anything? The next time you provide some evidence, I strongly suggest you look at the diffs immediately before and immediately after, then look at the talk page. The arbitrators will look at context, so you should too. --GoodDamon 01:43, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Can you please cool off a bit? These pages are to explore the subject and make proposals. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:15, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
The fact remains that after Cirt used tabloid-sourced gossip to support controversial information concerning a living person [70], he did actually edit-war the tabloid-sourced gossip back into the article [71]. Now, that might not constitute very much edit warring -- even if considered in conjunction with the other, apparently non-WP:BLP violating reversion [72]-- if there weren't a serious WP:BLP violation involved, but, as even editors supporting Cirt concede,
edits to a biography are visible immediately, and may, to the extent that they are poorly sourced and potentially false, cause harm to the subject of an article from the moment of their implementation[73]
Since articles aren't non-viewable drafts, WP:BLP violations are serious freaking business. Especially considered in conjunction with Cirt's prior use of a blog as a source for highly controversial allegations against David Miscavige [74], that adds up to at least three serious WP:BLP violations, which just might be considered actionable misconduct, unless, of course, editors are permitted to repeatedly "cause harm to the subject of an article" with impunity. John254 02:22, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. As a comment, this seems to be a huge list of ideas for punishing Cirt. I don't see any problem with Cirt's edits beyond that which other administrators make from time to time. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:12, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose No reason for this.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 17:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. Unnecessary.   Will Beback  talk  22:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

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Proposals by User:Rootology

Proposed principles

Use of Arbitration for revenge

1) The Arbitration process is not to be used for revenge, payback, or similar political purposes. Such use is considered disruptive, unhelpful, and sanctionable by the Arbitration Committee.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Suggested. Use of this last-ditch process to get "back" at "opponents" in cases you have nothing to do with is both appalling and shameful, and I call on the Committee to smash this process once and for all--kill the drama once and for all and kill it hard. rootology (C)(T) 04:54, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support. Stifle (talk) 10:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support. The Arbitration process exists to deal with the most complex cases of dispute resolution on Wikipedia, and should not be subverted for wikilawyering or defamation of an otherwise valuable editor. Spidern 16:16, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Recommending severe sanctions unsupported by evidence is a form of gaming the system that should be discouraged. Some entries in this workshop appear to be motivated more by revenge or animus than by legitimate dispute resolution or policy enforcement. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. I've seen absolutely nothing from Cirt meriting the vehemence of the reactions I've seen here. --GoodDamon 01:08, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. But this protection must be good for all, not only the anti-scientology POV reps. Cirt is an issue here and I think GoodDamon needs a check too. But this can be done in civility and by really neutral people. Misou (talk) 03:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
On exactly what evidence would you say I "need a check?" I'm assuming checkuser? Or are you suggesting someone check my edits to see if I'm a single-purpose account? --GoodDamon 17:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Strongly support - Two instances of using less than stellar sources are not grounds for anything like the action taken here. In response to Misou above, such statements as "Cirt is an issue here" and "GoodDamon needs a check too" (presumably meaning checkuser?), particularly on the very thin evidence presented here, do nothing to encourage civility. John Carter (talk) 17:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Personal attacks couched in polite language or under guise of arbitration proposals are nevertheless personal attacks, and should be sanctioned. Negative comments about another editor, not supported by evidence, nor retracted when challenged are personal attacks. Jehochman Talk 04:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Comments such as "X is an issue here" are exactly the sort of thing this proposal is talking about. Let's keep the process non-partisan. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

Protection of the Arbitration process

1) Arbiters, or Arb Clerks at the direction of Arbiters, will remove unhelpful, disruptive, drama-mongering, or clearly political Workshop sections and proposals a) brought by people uninvolved in the existing case; b)( that serve no purpose but as payback; c) as decided by them, with such rationales being public either by posting an explanation on the Workshop talk page, or in an edit summary upon it's removal. If users repeatedly disrupt the Arbitration process, the Clerks or Arbitration Committee members may sanction the involved users.

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Good idea, and the clerk can get started with some of your comments. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 05:42, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
As a point of clarification, the Clerk won't do anything at this point in time. I suggest that all of you calm down, take a breath and pause before clicking submit; unlike some other venues on Wikipedia, the Arbitration Committee is sufficiently intelligent to wade through hyperbole and revenge-proposals (should they occur/have occured) and, potentially, use it against the person making such remarks. Daniel (talk) 05:45, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Delicious thoughts, Daniel. Jehochman Talk 04:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Suggested. Use of this last-ditch process to get "back" at "opponents" in cases you have nothing to do with is both appalling and shameful, and I call on the Committee to smash this process once and for all--kill the drama once and for all and kill it hard. rootology (C)(T) 04:54, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by User:Jayen466

Proposed principles

BLPs to be based on coverage in most reliable sources

1) Biographies of living persons should accurately reflect coverage in the most reliable published sources. Private third-party websites that host otherwise unpublished writing or copies of primary sources (such as court documents, affidavits etc.) are not reliable sources for BLP purposes.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Jayen466 15:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Endorse. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - BLP itself is worded in a way that requires good reliable sources. --GoodDamon 01:14, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - This is obvious. Shrampes (talk) 19:38, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
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Oppose: While I agree with the first sentence, I think the second brushes too close to something which should involve community consensus. If the community deceds, at some point, to accept published court documents as reliable sources, I don't want this decision to stand in the way.
Note that the wording specifically says "unpublished" court documents only available on private websites. Jayen466 00:08, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

BLPs not to be primarily designed to disparage, embarrass or ridicule

2) Biographies of living persons should be written from a position of fundamental respect towards the individual. No biography of a living person should ever give the impression of having been written primarily to disparage, embarrass or ridicule its subject.

Comment by Arbitrators:
The first sentence is not quite correct; BLP requires that articles be written with an eye towards basic human dignity as a general principle, not from a position of respect towards the article subject in particular. Kirill (prof) 16:55, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I see what you mean, what I wrote is likely to be misunderstood. I actually did not mean "the specific individual the article is about", but "the human individual" in general. Jayen466 09:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Jayen466 15:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Endorse. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose/Support - BLPs should be written neutrally, and avoid anything that could be construed as libel. The second sentence I'm fine with, of course. Having spent quite a lot of time editing Barack Obama's BLP, I can tell you neutrality in BLPs is hard; half the people coming in want to proclaim him the messiah, the other half want to call him a foreign-born terrorist. --GoodDamon 01:14, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
NPOV is hard, because in your example he is obviously neither. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Withdrawn – we already have a superior wording in the WP:BLP#Basic human dignity policy: "Wikipedia articles should respect the basic human dignity of their subjects. Wikipedia aims to be a reputable encyclopedia, not a tabloid. Our articles must not serve primarily to mock or disparage their subjects, whether directly or indirectly." Jayen466 00:13, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Restrictions on the use of primary sources in biographies of living persons

3) Editors working on biographies of living persons must exercise great care when deciding whether to include material from primary sources. Editors should not use public documents, trial transcripts or other court records to add content to a BLP, unless such documents have already been cited by a reliable secondary source.

Comment by Arbitrators:
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Proposed. Standard, based on existing BLP wording (WP:WELLKNOWN). Jayen466 18:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Basic human dignity

4) Wikipedia articles should respect the basic human dignity of their subjects. Wikipedia aims to be a reputable encyclopedia, not a tabloid. Our articles must not serve primarily to mock or disparage their subjects, whether directly or indirectly.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Standard, based on existing BLP wording. Jayen466 18:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Wikipedia is not a soapbox

5) Wikipedia is not a soapbox. It is not an appropriate platform for propaganda or advocacy of any kind, nor is it a suitable vehicle for the promotion of websites engaged in such efforts.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Jayen466 18:04, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

NPOV and sourcing

6) Wikipedia's NPOV policy provides that articles should utilize the best and most reputable authoritative sources available. NPOV cannot be synthesized by merely presenting a plurality of opposing viewpoints, each derived from a polarized source. Instead, NPOV requires that high-quality, neutral sources be used for the bulk of the article, with more polarized sources utilized only when necessary to illustrate the range of opinion. Wikipedia:Reliable sources provides that scholarly sources are to be preferred, and offers advice on evaluation of non-scholarly sources. Wikipedia holds that particular attention to sourcing is vital for controversial subjects, and that exceptional claims require exceptional sources.

Wikipedia's prohibition on original research provides that editors may not synthesize viewpoints or draw conclusions of their own from primary sources or other raw data. Instead, Wikipedia articles document what reliable sources state about their subjects.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed, based on Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Sathya_Sai_Baba_2#NPOV_and_sources. Jayen466 18:08, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Proposed findings of fact

Scientology articles have used poor sourcing

1) A number of Scientology-related articles have used poor sourcing – relying on

  • various types of primary sources (publications by Hubbard and the Church of Scientology, court documents, affidavits, etc.),
  • the private websites of ex-Scientologists and other Scientology opponents,
  • press publications that have a below-average reputation for fact-checking and objective reporting.

Scholarly publications, the most reliable type of sources, have been underrepresented, despite a wealth of material being available.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Jayen466 15:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Obvious conclusion from the evidence presented. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 16:47, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Disagree. First, Jayen466's statement above is a generality. I think that the majority of the sources have conformed to Wikipedia policies. It is true that some sources have not and as far as I know, those sources have been removed.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 01:58, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

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Proposed remedies

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Proposals by Kristen Eriksen

Proposed principles

Proportionality

1) Remedies imposed by the arbitration committee are intended to be commensurate with the culpability of the editors against whom they are imposed. Disproportionately harsh or severe remedies are not implemented against editors for punitive purposes or to "make an example out of them", as such action is demoralizing to a volunteer project. A few isolated instances of policy violations will not ordinarily result in any remedies against an editor at all. This principle is especially relevant to the enforcement of essential policies such as WP:BLP: though edits to a biography are visible immediately, and may, to the extent that they are poorly sourced and potentially false, cause harm to the subject of an article from the moment of their implementation, these facts do not imply that we should rush to block/ban an editor or desysop an administrator the moment they violate the policy even once or twice.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
A few isolated incidents is one thing; and a pattern of behavior is another. Check the evidence page, and the involved editor's block history. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:28, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - And might I suggest jossi apply the above sentence's logic to the accounts editing from Church of Scientology IP addresses? --GoodDamon 01:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed, in response to certain almost bizarrely harsh remedies proposed by John254 and Jossi. I appreciate the frustration of trying to enforce WP:BLP when it seems that even admins and OTRS members are violating it, and the temptation that a respected editor like John254 and a respected admin like Jossi might feel to come here bearing torches and pitchforks. But it's also important to remember that not everyone is familiar with every detail of WP:BLP, and even those who are may find the policy complex and difficult to apply correctly in every single case they encounter during the course of an extensive history of contributions. The appropriate response to seeing evidence that a respected admin and OTRS member like Cirt made two edits that may not have been completely kosher is to write a polite note on his talk page concerning the WP:BLP issues. Desysoppings and bans are a last resort, but some editors seem to be using them as the first items on the menu. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 18:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, you'll have to forgive Kristen here. She might have actually believed the factually incorrect statements made by the editors supporting Cirt, such as this gem:
BLP provides drastic measures as options in cases of edit-warring to insert violations. Cirt didn't edit-war. Cirt introduced material (or restored material deleted by another user), but went with consensus when it was against him. You are free to disagree with Cirt over whether a source is reliable or not -- heck, I certainly do -- but you are not free to impose restrictions on him when he didn't war over that source. Simple test: Did Cirt keep reinserting the material, or did he put in requests for comment, and abide by the results of those requests? If the former, then sure, ban him. But it wasn't the former, it was the latter...[75]
In fact, after Cirt used tabloid-sourced gossip to support controversial information concerning a living person [76], he did actually edit-war the tabloid-sourced gossip back into the article [77]. When we also consider Cirt's use of a blog as a source for highly controversial allegations against David Miscavige [78], that adds up to at least three serious WP:BLP violations, plus any others described on the evidence page, not to mention the other non-BLP sourcing problems and edit warring described there. Also, as Jossi points out, Cirt was actually blocked seven times for disrupting articles largely related to new-age religions under his prior account. John254 01:57, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This is a sound principle. The aim of arbitration is to help the project, not to pubish editors for occasional infractions.   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Conflict of interest, presumptions

2) Users who edit from the IP addresses of a given organization are irrebuttably presumed to have a conflict of interest with respect to the editing of articles concerning or reasonably related to said organization. While editors under such a presumption are free to perform uncontroversial edits such as the reversion of obvious vandalism, libel, or WP:BLP violations, making controversial content edits may be improper, or at the very least give rise to the appearance of impropriety. For this reason, should users editing from a given organization make considerable controversial edits reasonably related to it, they may be prophylacticly banned from content concerning it without any specific findings of wrongdoing. Should a regular pattern of controversial presumptively conflict-of-interest editing emerge, all editors from relevant organization may be topic banned.

Comment by Arbitrators:
There might be cause for such a remedy in this case, but as a general matter I think this is an illegitimate expansion of the COI guideline and not a very good idea besides. COI is a guideline for editors, not a policy for banning blocks of IP addresses. Cool Hand Luke 22:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Support - That's one of the reasons WP:COI exists. --GoodDamon 01:18, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Opposed - A dangerous policy change (which an ArbCom can't do anyway). Next is "block all users coming from the Hilton network"? Shutterbug (talk) 19:33, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 18:38, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - The precedent being set here applies all across the board; no organization should be able to airbrush their weak points (or dishonestly inflate their good ones) on Wikipedia. Even if purportedly editing under the guidelines set by Wikipedia, an editor that has a working relationship with an organization will inevitably have a bias, whether unconscious or otherwise. That is not to say that one must actively seek out such editors in a "witch-hunt", but should a situation arise where disruptive editing is apparent, the inherent bias of such an involved party must be considered. Spidern 06:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - although I would disagree with Spidern's comments that any editor with a working relationship with an organization would have an "inherent bias". While it is not unreasonable to think that such a bias exists and to assume that to be true in most cases, I think it is going too far to instantly assume that an inherent bias exists in all such cases. John Carter (talk) 17:44, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support the general idea. The wording will need adjustment. Members of a religion editing a topic is potentially a good thing because they may be more knowledgeable about where to find sources. However, when they do so from the religion's offices on a regular basis, I think that crosses the line, especially when their edits are dogmatic. Jehochman Talk 13:37, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, although bear in mind that we're not talking about the relgigion here; we're talking about one branch of it, the Church of Scientology, as opposed to Scientology. Compare Church of England and Christianity. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:21, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
CMLIMC is absolutely right. The Committee absolutely has it within their power to say that anyone editing from IP 210.x.x.x or IP range 210/8, or any combination up to and including based on who owns or manages a given IP range, can be blocked, topic banned, or restricted in any other combination they want through a formal sanction. The Oppose above that calls this a policy change is wrong. The AC can absolutely specifically say something like this as part of a specific topic ban. If they said, "Any editors editing from CitiGroup owned IPs are topic banned from editing Citibank topics," they can do that, as justifiably as they can say, "Any editors editing from Church of Scientology owned IPs are topic banned from editing Scientology topics," if they passed it. Editing on Wikipedia is not any sort of right, as some people mistakenly think. This is a private website, like Google, or a blog I own, and we can make up any rules we want to further our mission appropriately. Just tossing that our there, since policy wise we can definitely do this. To say we can't, you might as well say you can't ban people. Ridiculous. rootology (C)(T) 01:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
They can say a lot but it would not tackle the problem. Also it is completely unheard of that an IP range is blocked to prevent known editors from editing. That would be a new policy. Blocking an IP range because it only hosts "open proxies"? Sure. Block an IP range because you have a personal dislike with the edits coming from there? No. Next you know they block Hilton hotels. Shutterbug (talk) 01:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This gets to the heart of the problem.   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Support This would effectively deal with the problem.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Editing from the Church of Scientology

1) Many users editing from the Church of Scientology have made considerable controversial edits reasonably related to it.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Opposed - Factually wrong. This insinuates that users using computers provided by the Church of Scientology are working on their behalf. And that's just not true. I could agree to a better working, like "Users editing from the IP addresses provided by the Church of Scientology have made controversial edits.", but this still is one-sided because controversial (in the sense of "lacking consensus") edits came from the anti-scientology crowd as well. Shutterbug (talk) 19:31, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 18:41, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Opposed - Controversial edits are controversial only because of two opposing parties present. This cannot be blamed on one side only. Also, no evidence has been brought forth that the "Church of Scientology" edited in Wikipedia at all, despite of the existence of single-purpose accounts. Shrampes (talk) 19:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, but say "multiple" instead of "many". We proved this in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS. It seems to still be true. Jehochman Talk 13:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, with Jehochman's reasoning and condition. Other 'sides' can be mentioned in other sections/proposals etc. IPs belonging to the Church of Scientology HQ have been editing articles, which I think is adequate proof that the "Church of Scientology" has edited Wikipedia, or at least people from the Church are editing with a conflict of interest. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 23:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Clearly supported by the facts.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:18, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. There is considerable evidence, both in this case, and across the previous RFAR and other dispute resolution forums.   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

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Proposed remedies

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

The Church of Scientology topic-banned

1) The Church of Scientology, and all users editing from it, are indefinitely banned from any subject matter directly related to Scientology.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support - I would not support this harsh wording if the accounts in question showed any sign of any interest in Wikipedia aside from using it as a promotional vehicle and removing negative material, but enough's enough. And I'm afraid I just don't believe that future editors working from Church-owned IP addresses would behave differently. --GoodDamon 01:23, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - I don't this would help anything. A Conflict of Interest cannot be determined by the type of internet access someone uses but by his/her actions. Anything else is blindingly overrated tech talk. Shutterbug (talk) 02:00, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 18:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - I could reasonably see the same restriction being applied to other organizations with a clear POV problem relating to certain content, like Vatican City editing articles related to the Roman Catholic Church, if content related to such bodies were to experience similar problems in the future. John Carter (talk) 17:47, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Opposed - This is not backed by evidence or Wikipedia policy but would strengthen those editors who are trying to abuse Wikipedia for POV pushing. Organizational editors are already required to declare their WP:COI. Also, with a general ban we would be back here in no time: Any new editor coming to any Portal:Scientology article would immediately become a "suspect" and the witch hunt can start again. Shrampes (talk) 19:32, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I am incredibly uncomfortable with this proposal and the precedent it sets. We should not issue a blanket topic ban to an entire group of editors indiscriminately. If you wanted to propose individual topic bans for individual editors, then fine, we can work with that. But it is unfair and unreasonable to exclude groups of editors wholesale without distinguishing between positive contributions and negative contributions. This is far too heavy-handed. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 22:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
How would this ever be enforceable? We have enough trouble determining whether someone is a sockpuppet and of whom. How are we supposed to tell what church they belong to? It may as well be "pro-scientology POV pushers are banned from x articles." Article probation is likely to be more effective if it hasn't already been implemented.--chaser - t 07:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The remedy would apply only to users editing from the Church of Scientology itself, which can be determined by checkuser. Without the remedy, WP:COI editors can hide behind opaque shared IP proxies, so we can't easily tell who's who. We already have article probation per Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS#Article_probation, but that hasn't actually solved the problem. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 19:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Article probation won't work because there are enough disagreements amongst administrators about how to handle this that it is just plain messy and difficult to apply any sanctions. Jehochman Talk 17:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Support but reword to say that all users on IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology are topic banned from CoS related topics. We have experienced persistent COI editing and meat puppetry that needs to be stopped. Jehochman Talk 13:44, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose if this means wholesale banning of all users who have ever made one or more edits from a computer in a Church building, independently of the quality of their edits since the last arbcom. The edit examples I have seen so far have not struck me as more problematic than edits of non-Scientology editors I could cite. Jayen466 13:53, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The church is responsible for controlling use of their computer equipment. When they allow it to be used for COI editing and meat puppetry, Wikipedia has the right to place whatever restrictions are necessary to stop the problematic editing. Jehochman Talk 14:00, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Could we put some names to this proposal? Which editors, specifically, are we seeking to have banned here? Jayen466 16:51, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be a good idea to review the evidence and present a specific list of names. However, I think the ban needs to be written in such a way to cover any new accounts that turn up editing with the same agenda from those same IP addresses. Jehochman Talk 16:58, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Conditional Support. Would we allow General Motors to edit articles related to General Motors? I think not. A Scientology topic ban for all Scientology IPs and editors editing from said IPs would be prudent, however. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 22:52, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, GM employees DID edit in Wikipedia[79] and I don't think anyone has told them about a topic ban for the technical subjects they edited. And - did anyone tell the Vatican[80]? Shutterbug (talk) 01:47, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Has there been a massive, ongoing effort by either General Motors or the Vatican to remove large quantities of negative material about GM trucks or Catholicism from the encyclopedia? Have their been numerous confirmed socks -- logged in editors that would not be detected by Wikiscanner, only by an admin checkuser -- who were revealed to have been editing from their networks and were eventually banned for their behavior, such as User:Terryeo? Has every single edit to Wikipedia that ever came from a GM-owned IP address or a Vatican-owned IP address been related to GM or Catholicism? Do either organization have histories of similar behavior? I'm sorry, but you can't pretend this is just like any other organization's behavior when it isn't. And for the record, the Vatican did not engage in an extended period of COI editing, which your own link demonstrates if you had cared to look at it. A smattering of edits over a period of years? 88 total edits? Are you trying to prove my points? --GoodDamon 16:50, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Support per Jehochman's recommendation about topic ban from cofs IP addresses. There is no other way to deal with a corporation that demonizes anyone who disagrees with them and takes their jihads onto Wikipedia. cofs members still can edit from their private residences or businesses. --Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:51, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
No they can't; the church won't let them. Stifle (talk) 17:06, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Support. The only realistic solution to this chronic problem.   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

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Proposals by Durova

Proposed principles

Wikipedia is not a battleground

1) An old custom used to avoid discussing religion and politics because the conversation is apt to end in a quarrel, yet Wikipedia covers these subjects. In the spirit of WP:NOT#Not a battleground, the site asks editors of differing personal beliefs to collaborate toward the shared goal of building an encyclopedia.

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Proposed. DurovaCharge! 18:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Good, but can be better written. "old custom" and "apt to end in a quarrel" is too colloquial ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:22, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
A bit informal, perhaps. While composing this I was thinking about ethnic/national disputes, etc. and how many of those arbitrations are basically 'religion and politics' quarrels. DurovaCharge! 05:24, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. The way to get us forward in this is to hold all editors to the same clear standards of reliable sourcing: published, reputable secondary sources. These can be researched in a spirit of collegiality, irrespective of personal beliefs. Jayen466 12:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support, to the extent not inconsistent with WP:COI :) Kristen Eriksen (talk) 19:40, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - Our goal is to generate reliable content, regardless of our own feelings on the subject. I know from personal experience it can often be difficult to try to be fair and neutral about matters one has strong personal opinions about, but in cases where that does happen seeking outside input is the way to go. John Carter (talk) 17:53, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. As John Carter. Shrampes (talk) 19:21, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. We all have our biases. But when we log in to Wikipedia we need to set those aside and work for the good of the project.   Will Beback  talk  22:30, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Transparency

2) Administrators are expected to act with reasonable discretion and to disclose prior involvement in disputes when it is appropriate to do so.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. DurovaCharge! 05:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Strongly Support Change we can believe in. Spidern 06:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Support This is a necessary principle.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This is a key issueIt's regretable when editors have undisclosed conflicts. But this is one area where admins need to be held to a higher standard, especially when they act as mediators in some form, or when they seek to change policies.   Will Beback  talk  22:30, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Justallofthem is a single purpose editor

1) Nearly all edits made by Justallofthem have been to Scientology and new religious movements, related talk pages, and related Wikipedia namespace at related disputes.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. DurovaCharge! 18:39, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Justallofthem violated the terms of his unblock from a community siteban

1) As Justanother, Justallofthem was community sitebanned in 2008, then restored to editing with a restriction to one account. He has resumed sockpuppeting in violation of that restriction, and has resumed much of the disruptive behavior that led to the siteban.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. DurovaCharge! 18:39, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually no, please see my evidence section. And I wonder what (mis)application of checkuser policy would even lead to this error. And you should count to 10, Durova, before recommending siteban. You seem awful antsy here. Why not wait for me to respond to this claim and for it to be sorted out? The further we go into this the more one-sided your partisan misrepresentations become. --Justallofthem (talk) 20:17, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Please refrain from bad faith speculation about partisanship. The Committee is well aware that I take appropriate action when people I mentor violate policy. For exmple, John Vandenberg--who has since become an arbitrator--has firsthand experience of that in our joint mentorship of an editor. When the editor's problems continued we resigned from mentorship simultaneously and later joined a conduct RFC. Where problematic editor behavior is one-sided, mentors need not pretend otherwise. DurovaCharge! 21:28, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
There is a stylometric analysis on the likelihood of Justallofthem and Truthtell being the same user at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Justanother. On the basis of that analysis, we are clearly dealing with two separate users. Jayen466 22:34, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Justallofthem was not community sitebanned in 2008, or at any other time. Durova apparently misremembers. Please see my recently posted evidence here. Bishonen | talk 13:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC).

Template

2) {text of proposed finding of fact}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposed remedies

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

Justallofthem banned

1) Justallofthem is banned from Wikipedia for a period of one year.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. With a nod to Jayen's point at evidence about BLP, Justallofthem would remain free to utilize the OTRS system. Justallofthem's record at evaluating BLP has been spotty, so OTRS would be an effective filter to implement the most useful part of that input without the disruptive effects. DurovaCharge! 18:45, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
One . . . Two . . . Three . . . --Justallofthem (talk) 20:18, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
There is a stylometric analysis on the likelihood of Justallofthem and Truthtell being the same user at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/Justanother. On the basis of that analysis, we are clearly dealing with two separate users, and this proposal is moot. Jayen466 22:34, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

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2) {text of proposed remedy}

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Proposed enforcement

Template

1) {text of proposed enforcement}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Template

2) {text of proposed enforcement}

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Proposals by Kirill Lokshin

Proposed principles

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. Use of the site for other purposes, such as advocacy or propaganda, furtherance of outside conflicts, publishing or promoting original research, and political or ideological struggle, is prohibited.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Standard. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Endorse ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Conduct and decorum

2) Wikipedia users are expected to behave reasonably, calmly, and courteously in their interactions with other users; to approach even difficult situations in a dignified fashion and with a constructive and collaborative outlook; and to avoid acting in a manner that brings the project into disrepute. Unseemly conduct, such as personal attacks, incivility, assumptions of bad faith, harassment, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, is prohibited.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Standard. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Endorse ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Endorse Sound principle.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:55, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Support The above proposal is a reasonable expectation of any editor. Spidern 04:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia editorial process

3) Wikipedia works by building consensus 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.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Standard. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Endorse ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Biographies of living persons

4) Wikipedia articles that present material about living people can affect their subjects' lives. Wikipedia editors who deal with these articles have a responsibility to consider the legal and ethical implications of their actions when doing so. In cases where the appropriateness of material regarding a living person is questioned, the rule of thumb should be "do no harm."

Comment by Arbitrators:
Standard. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Endorse ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Conflict of interest

5) Editors who have duties, allegiances, or beliefs that prevent them from making a genuine, good-faith effort to edit from a neutral point of view in certain subject areas are expected to refrain from editing in those subject areas. Instead, they may make suggestions or propose content on the talk pages of affected articles.

Editors who work in subject areas where a perception may arise that they have duties or allegiances that could prevent them from writing neutrally and objectively are encouraged to disclose the nature and extent of any such duties or allegiances.

Comment by Arbitrators:
From two principles in the COFS case. Kirill (prof) 17:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
The more recent formulation of these concepts in the International Churches of Christ case is also relevant. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Endorse--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Responsibility of organizations

6) Editors who access Wikipedia through an organization's IP address and who edit Wikipedia articles which relate to that organization have a presumptive conflict of interest. Regardless of these editors' specific relationship to that organization or function within it, the organization itself bears a responsibility for appropriate use of its servers and equipment. If an organization fails to manage that responsibility, Wikipedia may address persistent violations of fundamental site policies through blocks or bans.

Comment by Arbitrators:
From the COFS case. Kirill (prof) 17:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. RlevseTalk 15:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Strongly Support - Please see my comment made above. Spidern 04:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Participating in arbitration

7) The Committee encourages community participation at all stages of an arbitration proceeding, and a number of pages are provided where members of the community—including parties both involved and uninvolved in the matter being considered—may comment, make proposals, and otherwise take an active part in arbitration.

This openness is coupled with the expectation that editors who choose to participate will maintain proper decorum and work towards constructively resolving the dispute, rather than attempting to further it through inflammatory rhetoric, senseless proposals, or attempts to pursue unrelated conflicts.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Could be worded better. Kirill (prof) 22:13, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

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8) {text of Proposed principle}

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Proposed findings of fact

Cirt and BLP

1) Template:Userlinks has, on several occasions, violated the policy on biographies of living persons in the course of adding material to articles ([81], [82]).

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree strongly about the need to enforce the BLP policy on the project in general and on this series of articles in particular, but I'm not convinced so far that this is anything other than an isolated sourcing dispute, based on the diffs cited. Are there any other incidents? (Note to editors: please avoid repetition and excessively argumentative discussion on the workshop. It is not necessary to make the same point five times in a thread. Thanks.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 08:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
More heat than light, Kirill. You cite only two diffs and BLP is not applicable to the second one. All of the sources in the second instance are reliable; if there's an issue it's closer to coatracking. The first one falls under BLP, but the real problem was his understanding of WP:RS. Cirt had assumed (as many people do) that audio recordings are trustworthy. Actually they're not when the source is unreliable; audio editing can alter meanings completely. A single instance of a common misunderstanding hardly merits an arbitration resolution. DurovaCharge! 19:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Durova, you know better. Your trainee, Cirt aka Smee, is a long-time veteran of wiki-lawyering and innocent mistakes that total into the hundreds. Cirt has no misunderstanding about the meaning of WP:RS. What happened to your self-declared sleuthing skills? Go research for yourself or admit you have COI when it relates to your students. Lsi john (talk) 20:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Two diffs are cited here by Kirill. One is to a BLP article where I used a blog source - I mistakenly thought that since this source was actually an audio recording of an interview, it was okay to use to back up claims made by the person being interviewed because this could be verified by the audio recording itself - but I realize now that if the blog itself is not deemed reliable, someone could argue that the audio was edited. I apologize for this and I will be much more careful in the future to avoid these types of sources in BLPs if there is any question as to reliability of the source.
The other diff that was not added into a BLP article, and it is an edit from a few weeks before the ArbCom case started. The material added included an on-the-record statement made by an official representative of Scientology to The Daily Telegraph hosted on a News.com.au site, a second cite also to The Daily Telegraph which is used as a secondary source confirming material mentioned in the book Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, and a cite to The Age (which itself is citing the Australian magazine New Idea). The final cite in that section of material, to the source Australian IT, was only being used to note that a particular magazine article was popular, and was not being used to backup the prior content in the other paragraphs. I feel this issue is something that could have been resolved with discussion at RSN prior to ArbCom, I would have deferred to consensus of the community after previously uninvolved parties had weighed in at a RSN discussion. Cirt (talk) 20:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Support because I disagree with the defence proffered above, and am very disappointed by it. The blog audio simply should not be used if the statements in it have not been covered by any reliable published sources. Wikipedia is not supposed to do leading-edge research for negative information on living people, but is supposed to reflect coverage in the most reliable sources, and err on the side of caution in BLPs. Beyond that, should we really be quoting a book as an encyclopedic source that its publisher dare not publish in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, for fear of falling foul of libel laws? Lastly, the Australian IT article did not claim that the magazine article was "popular", but, literally, called it one of a "slew of blaring headlines" in "celebrity gossip weeklies". This, in my book, is defending the indefensible. Jayen466 00:00, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Jayen, I certainly agree that the audio shouldn't have been cited. Cirt came to understand that problem as soon as I explained it to him. Other editors should have taken the second instance to RSN if they wished to challenge it, because that isn't nearly so clear cut. We don't use arbitration to get the upper hand in legitimate content disputes. DurovaCharge! 00:38, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The possibility was mentioned that the video might have been altered. This is not actually the point. Even if the video had been on the speaker's own website, and had been certified to present his exact words and intent, I would not have used it: simply on the basis of WP:SELFQUEST, and the principle that extraordinary claims required extraordinary sources. I could easily have myself interviewed, make a claim about the director of a company I have worked with, and put the video on my website, or have someone else put it up on theirs. This does not make me a reliable source for the director's BLP. Do you see what I mean?
I believe it is widely acknowledged that WP has "a BLP problem". In my view, the problem is due to the fact that some editors are more interested in including surprising or "interesting" content, however tenuously sourced, than they are in writing a conservative, but boring biography. Yet the way I understand WP:BLP and WP:V, such sources as we have or had in Miscavige's article, alleging copyright fraud and physical abuse of employees, only become valid BLP sources if such claims have been discussed in multiple high-quality sources. For controversial claims, it behooves us as an encyclopedia to steer clear of celebrity gossip weeklies, tabloids, self-published and primary sources, if these sources are the only ones raising a specific allegation with regard to the article subject. Highly regarded publishing houses like Gale, say, don't source their biographical dictionaries to such publications either.
With regard to the second case, what you surely see is clear cut about it is that the cited sources do not support the statement that "Scientology has 'sex lessons'". Neither source cited says that.
Thanks for the work you and Cirt have been doing on the links to xenu.net etc. It is in a way unfortunate that the current focus here is on Cirt as much as it is; we came here by way of AE threads, one of which specifically related to Cirt, and that is still reflected in the evidence. Now that you have brought us here, looking at other editors' actions might have been just as worthwhile. Cheers, Jayen466 00:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Reply to Durova: Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources quite clearly states that taboid-sourced gossip concerning living persons may not be added to Wikipedia articles, as Cirt did [83] [84]:
Avoid repeating gossip. Ask yourself whether the source is reliable; whether the material is being presented as true; and whether, even if true, it is relevant to an encyclopedia article about the subject. When less-than-reliable publications print material they suspect is untrue, they often include weasel phrases and attributions to anonymous sources. Look out for these. If the original publication doesn't believe its own story, why should we?
The fact that reliable sources repeated the tabloid-sourced gossip, while expressly disclaiming its truth, does not permit its inclusion in an article, nor does mere attribution of the offending material to the tabloid itself, especially when the context in which the tabloid allegations appear suggests that we are endorsing them. Clear WP:BLP violations cannot be justified by declaring the matter to be a "content dispute". John254 01:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
So you're asking the Arbitration Committee to rule on content. Why didn't you ask the BLP noticeboard before the case? Why didn't you discuss the source with Cirt? DurovaCharge! 01:20, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The Arbitration Committee may legitimately determine whether editors have complied with the biographies of living persons policy. Such determinations are not considered "to rule on content" because compliance with the policy is not optional, nor the subject of a legitimate content dispute in clear cases. John254 01:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Think what our ethic and national disputes would become if ArbCom accepted that uncritically. Israelis and Palestinians could stop discussing whether sources are legitimate enough to cite; simply wait in silence until the next arbitration and clobber an opponent with one or two instances of good faith gray area action. DurovaCharge! 02:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The fact that it would be problematic for the Arbitration Committee to adjudicate every question of source reliability does not imply that the Committee should refuse to perform such determinations where the matter is obvious and the stakes are high, as they are when Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources is violated. Your proposed abdication of the Committee's responsibility would result in an "open season" for WP:BLP violations, so long as one could muster a sufficient number of editors to create a consensus for the policy to be violated. Since many of the subjects of our biographies have a long list of enemies who would like nothing better than to use Wikipedia as a forum for defamation, Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources is not enforced according to consensus, but rather by administrators and OTRS in the first instance, and, where necessary, by the Arbitration Committee. John254 03:05, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Something other than reasoned dialog is occurring here. John has continued to invoke OTRS above and here after Cary Bass specifically posted to one of John's proposals to say any inclusion of OTRS in this is absurd.[85] I propose no abdication of ArbCom's legitimate role with respect to BLP, as noted in this example from my evidence. The Committee is well aware of my long commitment to the Bluemarine case and other BLP disputes. John, if you are confused by the presentations at this case you are welcome to ask for clarification on the talk page. DurovaCharge! 03:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Durova, if you believe that "any inclusion of OTRS in this is absurd", you can start by removing it from your own evidence. The insinuation that I am "confused by the presentations at this case" is insulting: while I am quite aware of the meaning of Cary Bass' remarks, I consider them to be an unsupported assertion. Your implicit claim that your "long commitment to the Bluemarine case and other BLP disputes" implies that nothing you support here suggests compromising WP:BLP enforcement is without merit, since your previous WP:BLP related work does not render you an infallible authority upon the subject. The fact remains that you have not substantively responded to my argument that the refusal of the Arbitration Committee to determine whether editors have complied with Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources, on the grounds of not resolving "content disputes", would result in massive WP:BLP violations perpetrated by some rather COI editors. Indeed, your work in the Matt Sanchez case appears to contradict the position you are taking here: that whether the biographies of living persons policy was violated in this instance is a "content dispute" on which the Arbitration Committee should not rule. John254 04:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Again, John. Please take side discussions to talk. DurovaCharge! 04:55, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. The evidence of overt BLP violations by Cirt has been very thin. One example that's been offered, by Jayen, is John Carmichael (Scientologist). That biography is very well-sourced, has never had any controversy on the talk page, any editing disputes, and when it was nominated for AFD by Justallofthem it was almost a unanimous keep that got praise from the closing admin. As for the audio interview, I recall a dispute some time ago over whether audio interviews were reliable sources, regardless of where hosted, and I believe the outcome was that they were reliable sources for the speaker's views, just like any interview. It certainly isn't so clear an issue that a single use of such a source is grounds for formally correcting an editor. Considering the large number of articles Cirt has written, many of them featured, and the very large number of sources he's added to those and existing articles, complaints about a couple of sources seem overblown. Cirt has not been the subject of a user RfC on this topic or other dispute resolution, so it seems premature to admonish him about this. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:20, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
That John Carmichael (Scientologist) may be WP:BLP compliant does not negate clear-cut evidence of Cirt's WP:BLP violations on other articles. Your hearsay regarding an unidentified "dispute some time ago over whether audio interviews were reliable sources, regardless of where hosted" notwithstanding, it is clear that blog-hosted audio interviews do not pass muster as reliable sources for controversial claims concerning living persons per Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources (unless the interview is hosted on the subject's own blog, and used in compliance with Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Using_the_subject_as_a_self-published_source). Whatever may be said of the argument that prolific content contributions excuse, to some extent, the violation of policies which are designed for the protection of Wikipedia only, such contributions do not grant one a license for the violation of the biographies of living persons policy, which is intended to protect the people who we write about from harm -- that Cirt was an excellent content contributor would be cold comfort to someone who he had defamed. The function of arbitration proceedings to consider the behavior of all involved parties would be frustrated if we required "a user RfC" before considering Cirt's behavior. Moreover, the vital importance of the biographies of living persons policy weighs in favor of waiving procedural barriers to the consideration of policy violations. John254 01:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The error there doesn't appear to be using a recorded interview as a source, regardless of where it's hosted. It would be using that interview as a source for the actions of a third party. While that is not allowed by WP:BLP, I question whether other SPSes, such as Scientology websites, have been used for the actions or words of third parties, and whether the editors bringing this complaint have never used SPSes in the same manner. If so, then either all editors should receive similar admonitions, or none should. I don't think I've ever seen anyone admonished for such a minor infraction. Is that fair? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
If other editors have violated Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Reliable_sources, then you are welcome to introduce evidence to that effect. We're not going to admonish editors on the basis of mere suspicion. John254 03:14, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
John, the matter of whether interviews published on blogs are reliable has come up again and again, without a definitive decision by the community. Here's an example from a project page in August: An interview is an interview. If the person being interviewed was in any way being misrepresented, something probably would have been done. The only real question is, "Is this blog so unreliable that they might have made up this interview completely?"[86] ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's another example: ...If the actor gives an interview to a blog or otherwise self-published source, we are to be very cautious about citing claims from there, even if the actor said them (or the source put the words in print as the actor saying them). So if Brad Pitt talks to 60 Minutes about how he really likes Clark Gable, that is fine. If Jonah Hill gives some blog an interview, then we have to be really careful even deciding to cite it at all (remember, they could just be making it up or editing the responses). Protonk (talk) 00:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)[87] According to Protonk, such interview may be acceptable and one of the concerns is whether the interview has been edited - not a major problem with an audio transcript. The point being, that this is not a clearcut part of Wiki policy, and it's improper to admonish a good editor for a minor violation of an unclear policy. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's the thread I was looking for: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_4#Wikinews_redux. In it I posted this comment.
My view of interviews published in self-published venues like blogs or Wikinews is that we should regard them as reliable sources for the statements of the interviewees unless we have reason to doubt the veracity of the interview. Interviews, regardless of where published, should not be used as reliable sources for facts about 3rd-parties, but they may be used to cite opinions if the interviewee is notable in regard to the 3rd-party. (Bill Clinton's opinion of Hillary Clinton is notable, John Doe's opinion is not). ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:26, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Several people agreed and no one disagreed. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:40, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
None of your examples are germaine to the matter at hand. The first relates to articles concerning video games, which have considerably lower sourcing standards than biographies of living persons. The second and third examples relate to statements of opinions that the speaker holds of third parties, and do not appear to concern themselves with especially controversial material. Cirt's use of a blog interview [88] to make allegations against David Miscavige involves distinct, highly controversial, claims of fact against Miscavige, and is only peripherally related to the speaker at all. Cirt's blog-sourced allegations are in no way comparable to the sort of innocuous, subjective statements contemplated in your latter two examples. Furthermore, there is a very good "reason to doubt the veracity of the interview" of Marc Headley, since it was not posted on Headley's own blog, but one controlled by a third party. In the absence of any reliable source attesting to the accuracy of the recording, it would be quite possible for someone to have fabricated the interview out of whole cloth, or spliced together actual recordings of Headley's statements in a misleading fashion, then self-published it on a blog. As a review of the sources cited in our article on Project Chanology clearly reveals, there are plenty of people who are quite motivated to fabricate allegations against the Church of Scientology, its officials, or members. Actual verification of the recording's authenticity would involve a level of audio analysis that would surely qualify as original research. However, we need proceed no further into this quagmire of whether there's a community consensus that an interview posted on a third-party blog constitutes a reliable source for making serious accusations against a living person, because the biographies of living persons policy provides a clear, bright-line rule to resolve this situation: Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Using_the_subject_as_a_self-published_source expressly states that "Self-published material may be used in biographies of living persons only if written by the subject himself." Therefore, our biography of David Miscavige may only utilize self-published material to the extent that it is published by David Miscavige. There's nothing "unclear" about it. John254 22:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
So to clarify this based on John254's posting, the problem isn't the matter of where the interview is hosted, it's the use of an interview to cite assertions about 3rd parties in a BLP situation because all interviews are self-published sources. And he did this once, so we need to chastise him? If so, that seems like a very thin reason for an ArbCom admonition. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:08, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem is exactly where the interview is hosted, since blogs are ordinarily considered to be self-published by the blogger. The claim that "all interviews are self-published sources" is incorrect -- for instance, if an interview is reported in a newspaper, it is not self-published. While Cirt only used a blog as a source for controversial information concerning a living person once [89], he also added salacious tabloid-sourced gossip concerning living people to an article twice [90] [91], citing sources that expressly described the matter as factually-questionable tabloid gossip. In all of these cases, the WP:BLP violations did not appear to be the result of simple mistakes, such as misreading a diff: Cirt appeared to be aware of the character of the material in question. When considered collectively, these violations of the biographies of living persons policy are a matter of considerable concern. John254 23:37, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The matter of whether an interview published in a blog is reliable or not seems unsettled, based on the postings I've copied above. As for whether interviews should be used as sources for the actions or words of third-parties, that seems somewhat more established, but it's still not a black-and-white matter. This certainly doesn't appear to be sufficient cause for an ArbCom admonition, though I understand that editors with a vendetta against this user feel differently. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:53, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Will, the article John Carmichael (Scientologist) was created a week after he clashed with Anonymous protesters, and Anonymous guys posted their "I smell pussy" video on youtube. You are welcome to believe what you like, but I don't think there was any other reason for creating John Carmichael (Scientologist) than rubbing his nose in it that he had made a fool of himself on camera. Of course the article includes a lack-lustre sampling of reliably sourced information about the guy. But pussy is the punchline, even though I can't find one reputable news outlet on google news that reported that, beyond the Village Voice article by Ortega, and the Village Voice anti-Scientology blog. Sure you can argue that the existence of the Village Voice article and blog entry mean "it is reliably sourced". But to me this is tabloid writing and undue weight. Imagine someone coming to your doorstep, harassing you, filming an outburst of yours, putting it up on youtube, a local paper mentioning it, and then someone creating a Wikipedia article about you quoting your profanities, along with some token biographical details. I don't think you'd like it, and I believe that sort of thing is not the business we should be in with our BLPs. Cheers, Jayen466 10:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
There are twenty separate sources for John Carmichael (Scientologist), an indication of the subject's notability. It wouldn't take me an hour to find 20,000 biographies with fewer sources. Including at least a hundred articles on obscure cardinals. We're not here to decide who should be notable. Carmichael is clearly a major figure in a significant organization, whose actions and words have frequently been noted. In other words, a notable person. There is nothing sinister about having an article on him, any more than it's odd to have an article about Cardinal Raffaele Farina. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 10:19, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with having an article on him either, if we take out or significantly reduce the relative prominence given to his "I smell pussy" clash with Anonymous. Jayen466 13:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I am highly disappointed that Kirill decided to pick up the axe and take a swing on behalf of the tendentious editors. It would be a good idea for him to retract this proposal and start with proposals to sanction those who are actually causing net damage to the encyclopedia's content or to the editing environment. Editors are allowed to make an occasional mistake, and there is no way this proposal would ever pass. Jehochman Talk 11:26, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Weak evidence and a non-specific accusation. I concur with Jehochman and ask Kirill to retract this proposal.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:00, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

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Proposed remedies

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

Cirt reminded

1) Template:Userlinks is reminded of the need to comply with the letter and spirit of the biographies of living persons policy at all times.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Proposed. Kirill (prof) 17:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Insufficiently supported by the evidence; see above. DurovaCharge! 19:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Insufficient. It needs some wording about the consequences of not compliance in the future. Otherwise this has no teeth. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:53, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support - Acknowledging that the "spirit" of a policy isn't always as unambiguous as we would probably like. John Carter (talk) 17:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. This is just something that will give the tendentious editors a toehold to continue their merciless attacks on Cirt. Kirill, I am very disappointed that you are not acting to protect the encyclopedia here. It is quite clear who is trying to support policy (even though they might make an occasional, forgivable error as we all do), and who is engaging in a campaign of persecution. Jehochman Talk 11:28, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I am beginning to question Kirill's actions here. It looks like Kirill is attempting a hatchet job on Cirt.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:02, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. After much thought, I don't see a need for a reminder beyond what Cirt has already received in this process: The reminder that his edits will be gone over with a fine-toothed comb, taken horribly out of context, and misrepresented by editors determined to do battle with him instead of work with him. It took me so long to respond to this because I was honestly considering supporting it as a good general reminder to everyone, applicable to everyone, Cirt included. But singling Cirt out for it is basically a way of saying he made mistakes worthy of an arbitration, and that just isn't so. Until I see evidence of Cirt engaging in edit warring and avoiding processes like RfC, I oppose any such "reminder" unless it applies to everyone, as everyone makes mistakes. --GoodDamon 14:39, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

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Proposals by John Carter

Proposed remedies

Cirt reminded 2.0

2) Template:Admin is reminded to edit in compliance with the biographies of living persons policy, and to seek assistance in cases where the specific application of the policy is less than clear. John Carter (talk) 22:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
@John254: Cirt (and any other admin, for that matter) cannot exercise any admin rights in any article he is actively editing. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Phrasing acknowledges what seems to have been a case of misapplying the policy in a way several individuals have done, but does not appear to penalize Cirt for what seems to be a fairly common mistake. John Carter (talk) 22:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
From whom, exactly, should Cirt "seek assistance in cases where the specific application of the policy is less than clear"? As an administrator and OTRS member, he should be an expert on the biographies of living persons policy. Even if Cirt's WP:BLP violations were "a fairly common mistake" for editors as a whole, they would still be quite uncommon for editors holding his positions of authority to enforce the policy. John254 01:19, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Reply to Jossi: ordinarily, that would be correct; however, Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons#Remove_unsourced_or_poorly_sourced_contentious_material provides an exception to the general involved administrator rule for the removal of the type of inadequately referenced controversial information that Cirt added to articles: "Administrators may enforce the removal of such material with page protection and blocks, even if they have been editing the article themselves." So, by those standards, it appears that Cirt should have blocked himself :) John254 02:06, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. An occasional error is allowed, and does not warrant an arbitration finding. Jehochman Talk 11:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose for the same reasons I oppose the first "Cirt reminded" proposal. Cirt doesn't need reminding any more -- or less -- than other editors who create bad cites that link to places like lronhubbard.org. --GoodDamon 14:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Considering the volume of edits Cirt makes to BLPs and their overall quality, it doesn't appear that there is a problem here which requires a correction. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:38, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Seek to involve the Geopolitical ethnic and religious conflicts noticeboard

The experienced editors who frequent the Geopolitical ethnic and religious conflicts noticeboard are asked to collaboratively review the Scientology related content and correct any POV or other deficiencies they discover during their review. John Carter (talk) 19:48, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

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Proposed. So far as I can tell, this particular board was almost created for matters specifically like this one. And I don't see a single Scientology article referenced on the board. Maybe we could propose, and I know the people at that board will love to hear this, that some of those involved on that board try to get together to review the articles individually, maybe based on "importance", and bring in outside editors that way?John Carter (talk) 22:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by User:Justallofthem

Proposed principles

Wikipedia encourages edits from IPs (unregistered editors)

1) Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." That very much includes persons that may not have an account, may not wish to have an account, or may not choose to log in to their account. These edits and editors are to be treated no differently than a registered editor. In fact, they should be accorded the gentleness reserved for new users, see Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers. Their edits are to be evaluated on their merits and not summarily reverted.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed --Justallofthem (talk) 19:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea in principle, but not as written, as it leaves the door far too wide open for abuse. And I'm not sure if it's even applicable here anyway, since most of the edits in question were performed by logged in accounts, not the IP addresses those accounts were eventually traced to. --GoodDamon 14:44, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I'm not happy to support here - if the IP in question is the US Senate, then there's obviously a problem if it starts editing articles on senators. The edits should be evaluated based on the IP address that the edit comes from, and from the IP's past edits. This proposal passing would curtail every admin's capacity to fight POV-pushing and CoI editing and spamming. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:22, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Ownership of articles

2) No editor, no matter how prolific or experienced, owns any given article or series of articles. No editor should routinely defend his preferred version against reasonable good-faith edits by others, whether those edits be by registered users or no. Repeated and consistent "defense" of specific articles is indicative of taking an unacceptable degree of "ownership". See Wikipedia:Ownership of articles.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed --Justallofthem (talk) 19:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I agree with you on nearly all of this, except the last part. "Repeated and consistent "defense" of specific articles is indicative of taking an unacceptable degree of "ownership"." - I wouldn't say it's indicative of anything - if you're repeatedly and consistently defending Holocaust against holocaust deniers, then you're not really 'owning' the article. I know it's nitpicking, but these will come back to bite the community unless they're well-worded. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Administrators held to a higher standard

3) Administrators should set the example of responsible editing. They are considered experienced editors and often are seen as opinion leaders, i.e. less knowledgeable editors might follow their lead out of trust and respect. Edit-warring, poor sourcing, POV-pushing, and BLP violations are all unbecoming of an administrator. This type of behavior demonstrates lack of familiarity with or lack of respect for policy and the inability or unwillingness to put the project ahead of personal concerns. Such behavior is a violation of the trust and respect that an administrator commands. Administrators are held to a higher standard in that they are expected to show a deep knowledge and respect for policy and an ability to put the project ahead of personal concerns that might not be expected of a less-experienced editor.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed --Justallofthem (talk) 15:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Irrelevant and illogical. Much of the evidence cited against Cirt was from before they became an administrator. No pattern of wrongdoing by Cirt the administrator has been demonstrated. Jehochman Talk 15:56, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I presented a whole set of diffs showing unacceptable behavior in the last 30 days. But you already said that no amount of diffs from me will prove anything to you so there is no need for you personally to check them out. I believe that Jayen has presented plenty of recent diffs, too. Are those also invalid? --Justallofthem (talk) 16:06, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think you're a bad person, but I think that Cirt's point of view is so different from yours that you cannot look at the situation objectively. If you are right, other people will surely notice. If you back away and Cirt's behavior continues, or becomes more improper (as you may perceive it), then surely others will do something about it. Jehochman Talk 16:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Other people have noticed. In case you haven't noticed. --Justallofthem (talk) 16:42, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Anybody besides those who have a strong pro-new religious movements leaning? This entire conflict appears to be a content dispute where the participants have decided to claim behavioral problems as a battle tactic. A majority of the uninvolved appear to support Cirt. Jehochman Talk 16:45, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
(e/c) With all due respect, don't you think your reasoning is a bit circular here, Jehochman? A number of people on this page have noticed such a pattern, including several admins in good standing with no obvious connections to NRM I am aware of. Yet it seems that precisely because they say they have noticed such a pattern, you dismiss their views, as it obviously proves they have "that sort of POV" about NRMs. Perhaps what you are really saying is that you have the same POV as Cirt. Which is a perfectly fine position to take. Cheers, Jayen466 16:47, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Even the appearance of conflict of interest is to be avoided

4) Although Shutterbug and others make the claim that non-staff Scientologists might access the internet through Church of Scientology proxies, that cannot be readily verified. Editing Scientology articles from Church-owned IPs creates the appearance of a a conflict of interest whether one exists in fact or not. Editors that edit Wikipedia from Church-owned IPs are presumed to fall under the constraints of the Wikipedia conflict of interest policy so long as they are logged on from such an IP.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. This was in the COFS arb in so many words but bears inclusion here. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:44, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support - This very nearly sums up my ideas on the whole case. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:35, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Cirt has engaged in Wikipedia:Ownership of articles

1) Evidence shows that Cirt has, on numerous occasions, defended his "favorite version" of controversial articles against even minor edits by unregistered users and editors that do not share his POV.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed --Justallofthem (talk) 20:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
I'm not sure the evidence actually points towards that. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

The prior COFS arbitration did not find Shutterbug (COFS) specifically to have a conflict of interest

2) The prior COFS arbitration did not find Shutterbug (COFS) specifically to have a conflict of interest. The prior arbitration found that conflict of interest stems from the IP of the editor. We could interpret that as follows: to the degree that Shutterbug (or any editor for that matter) "accessTemplate:Interp Wikipedia through an organization's IP address and Template:Interp Wikipedia articles which relate to that organization", then she would "have a presumptive conflict of interest." That would apply to any editor. The prior arbitration also found that Shutterbug had violated NPOV and while a 30-day "punishment" was proposed, it did not pass.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Nothing earth-shattering but important to note the terms of the last arb as those are the constraints that were placed on Shutterbug and any subsequent alleged wrong-doing on her part should be judged against those constraints specifically and against the article probation in general. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:08, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Shutterbug has not violated the conditions of the prior arbitration

3) To the degree that Shutterbug has demonstrably continued to edit from Church-owned IP addresses she may well have violated WP:COI but she has not specifically violated the terms of the prior arbitration.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Just keeping things in perspective. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Shutterbug has violated Wikipedia:Conflict of interest

3) By making controversial edits from a Church of Scientology-owned IP after the COFS arb declared a presumptive COI in the case of editors using organizational IPs, Shutterbug has violated Wikipedia:Conflict of interest.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Balancing. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
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Proposed remedies

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

Cirt on probation for one year

1) Given Cirt's previous history as Template:Userlinks and his continued questionable behavior right to the date of this arbitration, Cirt is subject to a one-year probation in articles related to cults and new religious movements. During this probation any admin may impose escalating topic bans for edit-warring, POV editing, BLP violations, or other issues addressed by this arbitration. During these topic bans Cirt shall be free to edit normally in areas not related to cults and new religious movements and to participate freely in talk page and other (AfD, etc.) discussions in the banned areas.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed --Justallofthem (talk) 20:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Oppose. Not supported by the evidence. Jehochman Talk 11:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Hypothetically, JH, how many diffs would I have to show you before you would support this? How recent would those diffs have to be? Because if I can persuade you to support this then I am done here. --Justallofthem (talk) 21:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
(ps, that is not meant in a particularly sarcastic or disrespectful way. I think that you are disinclined to take a harsh view of Cirt even if there is significant evidence against him but that there is some degree of evidence that might compel you to agree with me at least to the extent of this relatively minor "sanction". That really is all I can hope to accomplish here.) --Justallofthem (talk) 21:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
If Cirt were being a jerk, many editors would notice, not just those who share a particular view of new religious movements. When I hear other parties complaining about Cirt's editing, that's when I'll become very interested in diffs. At the moment, this looks like a red team versus blue team dispute. The voice I hear most clearly in this dispute is Durova's because she has no particular slant on the subject other than a desire to enforce Wikipedia content policies. It is well known that she will bite her friends if she thinks they are doing wrong. I have the scars to prove it.
I know you are sincerely upset by Cirt's editing, but I still think this is a content dispute. Elevating it to a behavioral problem and requesting ArbCom sanctions is going overboard, in Cirt's case. Jehochman Talk 22:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
So no amount of diffs from me will persuade you? OK, then. I will hope that others are more objective. --Justallofthem (talk) 22:33, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Think quality, not quantity. Show me diffs of Cirt (not Smee) actually engaging in questionable behavior (reaching 3RR, abusing admin tools, etc.), failing to seek consensus on controversial material, or failing to abide by that consensus when it has been against him, and I will support that. Grabbing diffs of Cirt using a source other editors don't like will not cut it unless the context before and after indicates he behaved inappropriately regarding that source (warred to put it in, blocked people who disagreed, and so on). Diffs that are immediately followed by Cirt putting in RfC templates and abiding by the results of those RfCs are examples of good behavior, not bad, so avoid those. Look... Ideal behavior on everyone's part is to use exemplary sources from the beginning, to perfectly understand all the ramifications of the WP:RS guideline, WP:NPOV, WP:V, and so forth. But who among us is ideal? We make mistakes, or we disagree on whether sources are reliable. We're human. Misbehavior isn't picking a bad source, it's pushing a bad source. --GoodDamon 22:56, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:06, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure that's Cirt's editing is an issue here. JustAnother's proposal was made in good faith, though. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 03:19, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Shutterbug on probation for one year

2) As Shutterbug has disregarded the caution of the previous arbitration that editing from an organizational IP creates a presumptive conflict of interest, and as Shutterbug, then having said presumptive conflict of interest, has violated the conflict of interest policy by making controversial edits, Shutterbug is subject to a one-year probation in articles related to Scientology in the broadest sense. During this probation, any instance of editing from a Church of Scientology-owned IP will result in Shutterbug being declared an editor with a de facto conflict of interest permanently. If so declared, Shutterbug will be prohibited from any edits in article space but shall be free to post comments in article talk and in other discussions. Violation of these COI-editor conditions, eg. editing in article space, shall result in rapidly escalating site blocks. In order to enforce this, checkuser requirements are relaxed as regards Shutterbug and any editor/admin may be granted a checkuser on Shutterbug without showing further cause.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. --Justallofthem (talk) 19:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Probation after 18 months of warnings and notifications? No. If there are ongoing problems we must ask the editor to refrain from editing articles where they fail to maintain objectivity. Wikipedia is huge. Being excluded from ~400 articles among the millions is a very minor restriction. Jehochman Talk 19:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is huge." "Excluding" Cirt from cult and NRM articles "among the millions is a very minor restriction." Ask Cirt if he agrees with your assessment. --Justallofthem (talk) 20:42, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Sounds rather good, but I'd like to see it expanded to other editors who edit from those IP addresses. Otherwise, we open up the door to meatpuppetry (don't we?). Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
That is fine with me. --Justallofthem (talk) 14:26, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

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Proposals by User:White Cat

Proposed principles

Temporary injunction: Prohibit revert waring

1) Prohibit revert waring of any kind on Scientology related articles until the arbitration case concludes. This of course excludes simple vandalism.

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This is intended to stop any future revert wars. Revert wars of any kind at this point would only make matters worse. I sincerely hope this injunction will not be used but it is intended as an insurance. -- Cat chi? 22:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I hate tom point this out, but doesn't WP:EW cover this? Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

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Proposed findings of fact

Locus of dispute

1) The dispute in question mainly revolves around a content disagreement on a number of Scientology related articles.

One side (so called pro-Scientology camp) feels...
  • ...that the removal of sourced material favoring the pro-Scientology views is unjustified and are needed to balance the articles.
  • ...that the excess amount of criticism from questionable sources gives anti-Scientology views an undue weight.
  • ...that "to say that Scientologists can't edit is like to saying that a black person can't write about black history or Jew about the holocaust, or a Christian about Jesus or an American about U.S. history."
The other side (so called anti-Scientology camp) feels...
Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Have I missed anything? -- Cat chi? 21:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The importance of WP:RS#Scholarship. Jayen466 21:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
In what context? Mind that I am not trying to list every view but instead the general idea. -- Cat chi? 22:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Currently, many of the articles are badly sourced. Crotalus horridus gave the example of Religious Technology Center#References, and the actual references out there as found in this Google Books search listing over 500 books dealing with the RTC. I think that and the associated WP:OR is the locus of dispute: everything else is symptoms. Jayen466 22:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you accusing pro-Scientology people of pushing OR? I am not sure what you mean. -- Cat chi? 23:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I think both sides have been guilty of it to some extent, coming up with sources that are just unacceptable. The anti crowd has had more luck in retaining them, by strength of numbers, but at the expense of ugly fights that have soured the working climate. As Crotalus h. said, there is plenty of criticism in more reliable sources too. Using scholarly sources and books published by reliable publishing houses as the main sources won't give Scientologists a free ride. Cheers, Jayen466 23:51, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I reject the label of "anti-scientology," as you put it. My complaint in this matter has nothing to do with Scientology itself. I even agree that there are problems with sourcing, although I've maintained that this isn't the proper venue for dealing with sourcing issues when WP:RS/N has been vastly under-utilized. While to me it appears that the larger sourcing problem is with primary sources as opposed to original research, I prefer that all such matters be dealt with. My only complaint as applies here, and the primary reason this arbitration exists, is that I am convinced there is compelling evidence that the Church of Scientology has taken a direct interest in the Wikipedia articles associated with Scientology through the use of role (many people, one login) and sock (one person, many logins) accounts. --GoodDamon 00:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
What kind of a "label" do you recommend? Mind that the intention of that "labeling" is to distinguish the sides of the dispute not the political/religious opinions of the involved users. -- Cat chi? 11:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
There's no easy answer, and I don't think their ought to be. It's more complex than a pro- or anti-Scientology crowd. There are really two separate disputes, and each has attracted a wide variety of editors. One group believes User:Cirt is a problem user and POV-pusher. The other group believes there is a problem with accounts that edit from Church of Scientology buildings. While I disagree with the group that has a problem with Cirt, not everyone on my "side" does, and not everyone on the other "side" dismisses the problem of Church accounts. So really, breaking it up into sides like that is inaccurate. It is better to break it down by issue. I would categorize them as "Concerns regarding admin Cirt" and "Concerns regarding editors who may be editing on behalf of the Church of Scientology". Broken down that way, you'll see that there are several editors who share both. On as heated a topic as this one, there are also some corollary issues as well, but those are the big two. --GoodDamon 16:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Cat, while you have made a good statement of at least a couple of the issues with the Scientology-series articles, GoodDamon has made a more accurate summary of what is the locus of this dispute. --Justallofthem (talk) 16:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Almost. I should say that nobody is proposing that all Scientologists be prohibited from editing articles pertaining to them. What is being discussed here is that only editors that have been found to be editing from specific ranges and IPs (such as ns1.scientology.org or ws.churchofscientology.org) be topicbanned from editing Scientology-related articles. The principle of Multiple users with a single voice was brought up during the first arbitration case, and it was stated that these IP editors would be given the benefit of the doubt. However, it also stipulated that if repeat offenses occurred, that changes must be made. That time has come now. Spidern 21:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I was quoting one of the users. I think the "pro-Scientology camp" has such a concern which I believe should be addressed. -- Cat chi? 22:33, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

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Proposals by User:Hemlock Martinis

Proposed principles

Adherence to community standards

1) Certain content-related policies — Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view — are considered by the community to be fundamental to the maintenance and construction of Wikipedia. These policies establish editorial standards by which all content on Wikipedia must conform. When editors fail to abide by these cornerstones of Wikipedia policy, they create unacceptable disruptions within both the community of editors and the body of content.

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Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Last sentence could use some polishing, but the gist of it is pretty clear. This shifts the focus away from the content and more towards the disruption and the actions of editors, thus giving ArbCom more leverage in making decisions while remaining well within the "no content rulings" prohibition. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Primary, secondary and tertiary sources

2) In the Wikipedia:Reliable sources policy, the community outlines what is considered a reliable source. Primary sources are permissible on Wikipedia, but must be used with caution in order to avoid original research or the synthesis of novel conclusions. Thus, editors should rely upon reliable secondary and tertiary sources over primary sources when writing articles.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
'Proposed as an adaptation of Jossi's excellent proposed principle here that frames the concept within existing policy. This grounds the proposed principle firmly in Wikipedia's policy bedrock, thus avoiding the impression that the Arbitration Committee is either creating/expanding policy or ruling on content. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, with removal of the reference to Tertiary sources. We should avoid those as much as primaries, I think! Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:55, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Arbitration abuse

3) The Arbitration Committee's purpose is to resolve differences between editors so that all may productively contribute towards Wikipedia. Attempts by editors to game the process by using arbitration mechanisms against other editors for personal and political means are malicious and gross expressions of bad faith. As such, attempts to do so will be met with extremely displeasure by the Arbitration Committee and the community, possibly leading to sanctions against offending editors.

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Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed as a broadening of the similar proposal by Rootology. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Failure of sources

1) The articles on Scientology, subtopics of Scientology, and Scientology-related individuals and events do not meet the community's standards of reliable, verifiable and neutral sources. Scientology-related articles often rely upon non-reliable websites run by individuals with noted biases either for or against Scientology and its related topics. Articles excessively and/or inappropriately rely upon primary sources such as court affidavits, blogs and personal accounts. These patterns persist despite the dearth of reliable third-party sources by scholars and journalists.

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Is it possible you meant to write "despite the wealth" rather than "despite the dearth"? Jayen466 02:41, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. A fairly obvious finding, based on Crotalus horridus' evidence and the evidence presented in the Cirt finding of fact further down. For evidence of misuse on the pro-Scientology end of the source spectrum please see here, in which an editor attempts to source material to a site with an admittedly pro-Scientology bent run by a Scientologist. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Cirt has misused sources

2) Template:User has consistently failed to uphold Wikipedia's standards of reliable sources. These misuses coincide most frequently with material that is accusatory or highly critical of Scientology and Scientologists.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Undisputed. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. While Cirt has indeed shown evidence of neutral work, there is a noticeable pattern of improper use of sources. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Not supported by the evidence at all. Jehochman Talk 11:30, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose No evidence for that.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:08, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Scientology-related IPs

3) Template:User and Template:User have repeatedly posted from IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology, possibly indicating conflict of interest against Wikipedia policy.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Basic. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Makes sense. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:56, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of sourced material

4) Template:User has repeatedly removed content related with Scientology's more controversial aspects, even when properly attributed to reliable sources. In some instances this is through outright removal; in others, with misleading edit summaries such as these [examples in which Shutterbug falsely states the material is not in the source.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Please note that the first and second diffs did not remove the material, but moved it from the lede to the main part of the article. The third diff may have been a mistake, because the source is easily mistaken for a blog at first sight. The fourth diff is an edit by a different user (Template:User). The fifth diff is correctly described. Please review and amend above as appropriate (and feel free to delete this post once done). Jayen466 03:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I linked the wrong ones in a few by accident. My apologies! Will fix in a second. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 03:23, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Update: Trimmed down to remove the incorrect stuff, will go back through the evidence pages and find the links later; traveling today. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 18:40, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Obvious from the links. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Reminder of source standards

1) The community has laid out in a set of core policies the standards by which all articles are expected to uphold and all editors are expected to enforce. Thus, all editors and involved parties are reminded of the following core principles:

  • All content on Wikipedia, especially controversial content and biography of living persons, must be attributed to sources.
  • The verifiability policy sets academic peer-reviewed works and major widely-circulated journalistic publications as the most suitable sources; parties are reminded that such sources should be sought out and emphasized over less verifiable and/or less academically rigorous sources.
  • Wikipedia's neutral point of view is non-negotiable. Articles are required by policy to be fair, neutral and accurate. Parties are reminded that when using sources in articles, they must be careful not to introduce bias into the encyclopedia through source inclusion, exclusion and/or misrepresentation.
  • Finally, Wikipedia is not a distributor of original thought or research. Parties are expected to avoid unpublished and unverifiable content and avoid the analysis of sources not deemed reliable by the community. Finally, parties are cautioned to avoid biased syntheses of sources, which the community includes under the broad umbrella of original research.
Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. (Perhaps we should add a qualifier like "reliable" before "sources" in the first bullet-point, and/or add "and should reflect coverage in the most reliable sources".) Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Comprehensive and factual. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Just a regurgitation of policy. Not necessary. Jehochman Talk 11:31, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Shutterbug warned

2) Template:User is warned that continued removal of content about Scientology's more controversial aspects that is adequately attributed to reliable sources is considered disruptive and will be grounds for further sanctions should it continue. Shutterbug is reminded that discussion is a suitable substitute, and is urged to take concerns to the respective talk pages of articles in the future.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed per my finding of fact #4 above. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. We don't need a non-result sanction. Jehochman Talk 11:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Cirt cautioned

3) Template:User is cautioned to take greater care in following Wikipedia's content policies. This includes sourcing controversial or potentially harmful Scientology-related content additions to reliable, neutral and verifiable third-party independent sources.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed per my evidence and findings of fact above. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. The finding of fact is not supported by the evidence, much of which was presented by highly biased participants. Jehochman Talk 11:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Insufficient evidence to warrant sanction.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:15, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Participants reminded

4) Parties and uninvolved participants in this Arbitration case are reminded that the abuse of arbitration mechanisms for personal or political gain or for excessively punitive measures can constitute disruption, and are urged to take greater care in the future by avoiding such distractions and focusing on the case at hand.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Support. Jayen466 03:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed per activities during the ArbCom case. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 00:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Non-sanction sanctions are not useful. Jehochman Talk 11:33, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

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Proposals by User:Spidern

Proposed principles

Non-discrimination of religious adherents

1) The adherents of a religion are not to be prohibited from making edits on the basis of their beliefs. Instead, any scrutiny made will be based on their behavior, in accordance with the established guidelines and policy herein, just as they apply to any other editor on Wikipedia.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Good idea, but not germane to this RFAr as Scientology is as much of a religion as the Jedi order is. Sceptre (talk) 22:38, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. While this should be passed by the Committee nevertheless, it is especially important if the CoS IP block is instituted. Focus on behavior, not editors. And Sceptre, there are legitimate followers of Scientology out there. Please do not dismiss their beliefs as such. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 01:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. ArbCom does not write policy. We already have perfectly good policies and guidelines that say what is allowed. This is not necessary. Jehochman Talk 11:34, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose: This leaves a doorway open for abuse. In addition, Scientology is only a religion in a few countries, I certainly don't consider it as such, and I've had scientologist friends tell me that it isn't one. We should focus on behaviour, not on religious beliefs or lack thereof, unless there's an obvious conflict of interest. Religious freedom is not freedom from COI policy; the US Constitution, remember, doesn't apply here. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:39, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Let us not invent wikipedia policies here, but rather use the policies extant.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Scientology is a government-recognized religion in many countries, including the US. If you define "religious recognition" by High Court judgments you can even add Germany, Greece, Italy and France. Spain officially recognized Scientology, last week Argentina joined in. Taiwan did, Australia did and so on, surely dozens. Your viewpoint on this seems to be marked by the incomplete and one-sided articles Wikipedia hosts on the subject of Scientology. Which is exactly the problem. Shutterbug (talk) 00:01, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
While I might quibble with a couple of the above assertions, Shutterbug is broadly correct. Statements like "as much of a religion as the Jedi order is" have no relationship to the real world out there, where state and legal recognition as a religion are widespread, and practically unanimous among scholars. See Scientology as a state-recognized religion. Jayen466 10:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Amongst which scholars? Regardless, the argument here is not about Scientology as a religion. It's about whether this particular legal view - non-discrimination based on religion - has any place in policy on an encyclopedia. I think that this proposal is adequately covered with existing policy. I don't want religious extremists to be quoting the first part of this proposal in their defence of COI statements. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 13:37, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Using proxies creates ambiguity

2) Although new users must be given the benefit of the doubt, using proxies is disruptive to transparency and accountability. When using a proxy, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether the editor is in fact a separate person, or whether they are sockpuppets controlled by another editor.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. It is essential that all editors respect this principle in a spirit of cooperation, so that they can more efficiently improve upon Wikipedia. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. We have a policy to block open proxies. Users on corporate proxies are allowed. WP:MEAT says that users whose editing is indistinguishable from one another may be treated as the same. The principles from Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS are sufficient. There is no need to muddy the waters by saying the same things twice in different ways. Jehochman Talk 11:36, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Using proxies is to be avoided, it's (disclaimer:nearly) never helpful. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Staying calm when dealing with controversial subject matter

3) It may sometimes be difficult to behave rationally when an editor submits information that is disagreed with. However, it critical that all parties involved stay calm when interacting with other users, and to assume good faith in tough circumstances. All editors are encouraged to state their case logically and explain their edits with verbosity so that confusion and unnecessary confrontation may be avoided.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. Being bold can be extremely productive if done in a participatory, cool-headed way. If editors take a minute to breathe, and calmly rationalize their edits, there will be no need for apprehension. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:43, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Implicit conflict of interests for organizations

4) An implicit conflict of interest is to be assumed for any employee or staff member of an organization. The staff member or employee of a legal organization in question must not compromise his own good standing by making edits from an internet connection owned by the organization itself. It is not always possible or practical to treat editors behind such organizations as individuals when they make edits directly from the property of said organization.

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Comment by others:
Proposed. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support: Sounds very, very good, particularly the first sentence. I'm in the Navy, I obviously have a conflict of interest in that field. Certainly, staff or 'signed up' members of an organisation should avoid editing things about the organisation. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Multiple users edited from behind the Church of Scientology IP addresses

1) As determined by a request for checkuser and evidence provided in a previous arbitration case, several editors which predominately edit Scientology-related pages did so from behind IP addresses belonging to the Church of Scientology.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
This is true and will support some proposals I will post in my area. --Justallofthem (talk) 17:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:47, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Disruptive editing and abusive proxy usage

1) Starting now, all editors which demonstratively (1) oppose consensus in a non-collaborative and disruptive fashion and (2) use open proxies must be topic-banned from editing Scientology articles indefinitely.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment - Not really needed as open proxies are already subject to immediate and indefinite IP block per Wikipedia:Open proxies. Further, I do not believe that this case is about "open proxies". The ambiguous proxy issues have to do with whether a CofS IP presupposes that the user is a CofS staff member, whether specifically tasked to "handle" Wikipedia or not. The other possibility and the one that Shutterbug has alluded to is that normal parishioner would have access to that proxy. A parishioner like myself. It is very possible that I could go into a large Scientology center and have use of a computer to access the internet. Prior to the last arb, I called Flag in Clearwater and verified that they did indeed offer a business center to guests. I am sure that is the case at Celebrity Centre also. Internet access at those facilities would likely go through one of the named proxies in this arb. Mention is also made of "your-freedom.net" and an unnamed proxy in Asia. Perhaps the former is such a clear case of an anonymizing proxy that it should be blocked. However use of the proxy does not reflect badly on the editors using it per the cited policy. --Justallofthem (talk) 04:08, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Good faith must be assumed on the part of established editors when interacting with new ones. However, if an editor consistently shows no intention of working in a spirit of cooperation, then all attempts to interact with that user in a rational manner will be fruitless. Further, there is no justification for using proxies on Wikipedia. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Editors which have already edited from Church of Scientology IPs

2) All editors which have been shown to have used Church of Scientology-owned IP addresses are presumed to have an implicit conflict of interest when editing Scientology-related articles, and must be topic-banned indefinitely.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Oppose - There was an arbitration already on this and the recommendations were quite the opposite. I will propose some alternate language in my workshop area. --Justallofthem (talk) 17:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed, in accordance with the principle of Multiple users with one voice: It is rarely possible to determine with complete certainty whether several editors from the same IP or corporate server are sockpuppets, meat puppets, or acquaintances who happen to edit Wikipedia. In such cases, remedies may be fashioned which are based on the behavior of the user rather than their identity. The Arbitration Committee may determine that editors who edit with the same agenda and make the same types of edits be treated as a single editor. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Weak support - anyone who has EVER edited from one is a bit much, but certainly anyone with more than, say, 10%NB:ballpark figure of their overall edits coming from a Scientology IP is a bit better. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Support Yes, that is fact. --Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:13, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

All future editors must refrain from using Church of Scientology IP addresses

3) All future editors must refrain from editing using Church of Scientology-owned IP addresses when editing Scientology-related articles. Every person is to be given an equal opportunity to edit Wikipedia, provided that they make a concerted effort to cooperate with existing editors and don't abuse open proxies.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Opposed - The second sentence contradicts the first one. "Equal opportunity" for "every person" but not for Scientologists has a taste of open discrimination. Shutterbug (talk) 19:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Being a Scientologist doesn't mean that you can't edit Wikipedia. Instead, we simply ask that editors use their personal internet connections lest there be any confusion about a conflict of interest. The religious preference of an editor has no bearing on whether they should be allowed to edit or not. Spidern 15:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
They'll say that if they're living at the Sea Org or another Church of Scientology facility, their "their personal internet connections" are owned by the Church of Scientology. To say, "Every person is to be given an equal opportunity to edit Wikipedia" in this context is asking for trouble. To the extent that editors have internet access that is incompatible with enforcing WP:COI on a subject where we've had massive conflict of interest editing, they are not welcome here. Kristen Eriksen (talk) 20:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I would amend this to limit such a prohibition to Scientology-related articles, broadly interpreted. There's no indication editors from these IP addresses are causing trouble elsewhere on the encyclopedia. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 01:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Amendment made. Spidern 02:10, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I do use my personal internet connection already (as well as others) but that didn't help to cut down the noise. How do you want to enforce this? Nice thought, but impossible. Shutterbug (talk) 05:20, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
We can enforce it by blocking the Scientology IP from editing, so you simply won't be able to edit through a Scientology IP address. You'll be surprised at what ArbCom can do when they put their minds to it! Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:52, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
This would impose an hardship on Scientology members (e.g. in one of several hotels or pensions provided to members coming from out of State or abroad) and discourage people who might have something sensible to say. It would also create a lot of crystal balling against any future editor in the Scientology articles who does not use a church IP. I never denied being a Scientologist and that I sometimes use Church lines for internet access. That's my punishment now for being open? Shutterbug (talk) 19:52, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
As a comment, I support this - if they're living at the Sea Org or another Church of Scientology facility, they have a conflict of interest, and shouldn't be editing Scientology articles. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
I've proposed a stronger alternative at #Church of Scientology IP addresses banned from editing. The root problem here isn't just the conflict of interest, it's the way the shared IP addresses obscure the responsibility of individual editors and facilitates possible sockpuppetry. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:41, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

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Proposals by User:Sceptre

Proposed principles

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Proposed findings of fact

Cirt as an article writer

1) Cirt has significantly contributed to several featured articles in the Scientology WikiProject. Template:Oldid, Template:Oldid, Template:Oldid, Template:Oldid, Template:Oldid, Template:Oldid

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. I don't think the FA reviewers would let one dodgy article through, let alone five. Sceptre (talk) 18:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. (Also, I fixed your template there.) Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. Undeniably true. When I collaborated with Cirt on Battlefield Earth (film), I found him to be extremely conscientious and diligent in the use of sources. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:39, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. This is relevant because the FA process is stringent on issues like sourcing and NPOV. Cirt's work in bringing several Scientology articles through FA demonstrates that his work on this topic has repeatedly brought relevant material to the highest standards of the project and proves that he has not made a habit of inserting inappropriate material into those articles. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:35, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Cirt commended

1) Cirt is thanked for his contributions to articles. Sceptre (talk) 18:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
He deserves it.Sceptre (talk) 18:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
More. Cirt is a good editor who needs to be protected from those who are persecuting him. Jehochman Talk 11:38, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - Finally a reasonable statement about Cirt in this ArbCom. --GoodDamon 17:12, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Support - If writing a few book reports and rehashes of movie reviews, prettying-up portals, and doing a lot of grunt work earns one the right to push POV day in and day out, turn Wikipedia into a tabloid, hammer newbies and anyone else that disagrees with his favorite version, etc.; if that is commendable, then yes, Cirt is to be commended. And if the consensus in this project is that that stratagem is A-OK and a "net positive", then let's pat Cirt on the back, site-ban Shutterbug, wrap this up, and go enjoy our holiday. --Justallofthem (talk) 18:23, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose Bucking the trend here on principle. See Kelly Martin is thanked for her long and honorable service and the Committee commends Jossi's voluntary restraint: in light of Kelly Martin's subsequent role in the 'rehabilitation' of Poetlister and Jossi's return to editing the very subject he had been commended for removing himself from, arbitration commendations have turned out to be a dicey undertaking. That tradition is best discarded. Cirt's long list of featured credits speaks for itself. If Cirt's actions don't withstand scrutiny then he doesn't deserve this, and if his actions do withstand scrutiny then the final decision should give him more real relief than any praise. All I ask is that the Committee resolve this dispute in a fair and definitive manner. DurovaCharge! 06:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I support Cirt's edits, and congratulate him, bit I agree with Durova. It's not really needed, we all know that Cirt is a good bloke. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 02:55, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Oppose on principle per Durova. Cirt's a valued contributor, but arbitration cases aren't the place to hand out barnstars. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment - Basically, from what I have seen here, Cirt hasn't done anything really "bad" or really deserving of any sort of real criticism, other than perhaps seeking to apply a policy or guideline which seems to be written in such a way as to make such application difficult for several people. If it is found that such behavior deserves criticism, then I would certainly Support such a comment. If for whatever reason the outcome of the arbitration results in no findings regarding Cirt directly, then I would Oppose such inclusion, as per Durova and others above. John Carter (talk) 17:03, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed enforcement

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Proposals by User:ChrisO

Proposed principles

Shared corporate IP addresses obscure individual responsibilities for edits

1) The use of shared corporate IP addresses to edit articles obscures the identity of individual editors, making it difficult to determine whether multiple accounts operating from the same corporate IP address are genuinely different people.

Comment by Arbitrators:
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Comment by others:
Proposed. This seems to be at the root of many of the difficulties in this case. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. A logical statement to make. This applies to all corporate/organisation IP addresses, I think. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 03:25, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. A key problem and one that is relevant to many disputes. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. This is correct.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 03:32, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

TaborG and Derflipper are sockpuppets of Shutterbug

1) Based on checkuser evidence, it is probable that Template:User, Template:User and Template:User are the same individual.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment: Pure nonsense. I wish jpgordon had posted the URL for that "open proxy in Asia" so that anti-scientology authors like ChrisO[92] would not be able to use it for such an interpretation. I never used an open proxy in Asia, to the best of my knowledge I did not use anything which would not require a logon (as in "open"). I did use and still do sometimes the your-freedom.net SSL line but I do have a paid account with them. Maybe that? Shutterbug (talk) 19:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. The checkuser evidence identifies these three users as using the same open proxy in Asia. The odds of any three individual users in the same topic area using the same open proxy independently of each other are, I think, extremely low. The most likely explanation is that the TaborG and Derflipper accounts are sockpuppets of the Shutterbug account, which has a broader pattern of usage. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:12, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Grrrilla is the same individual as Misou

2) Based on checkuser evidence, it is probable that Template:User and Template:User are the same individual.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Hang on a minute. Template:User has not edited since spring 2007, well before the last arbcom. Misou's current IP usage was found to be unproblematic in the most recent Checkuser: [93]. Jayen466 11:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Wait, so evidence that Misou and Grrrilla are the same user should be discarded because it's old? It would be one thing if Misou came out and said, "Yeah, I did that, but I'm reformed now and won't do it again," but I have no desire to see old sockpuppets suddenly spring back to life. --GoodDamon 16:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
???? Jayen466 17:08, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Same here. Post the times an IP was used instead of leaving it open for interpretation and crystal balling. Shutterbug (talk) 19:43, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. The checkuser evidence identifies Grrrilla and Misou as editing from the same IP addresses in Berlin and Munich, and both editing from Church of Scientology corporate IP addresses. The use of the same regionally distinctive addresses and the CofS's corporate network in California suggest that these two users are the same individual. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:26, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Jayen466 has repeatedly engaged in unprovoked ad hominems

3) Jayen466 has repeatedly sought to discredit me personally by accusing me of being involved in "online propaganda efforts against Scientology outside Wikipedia". He has done this twice, once on [94] and once in the course of this arbitration. On both occasions his accusations have been unprovoked non sequiturs in the course of otherwise civil discussions on sourcing.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
I acknowledge that. I apologise and will refrain in future from commenting on your real-life interests, whether disclosed on-wiki or not. Jayen466 22:44, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. I have not at any stage commented on Jayen466's motives or personal views, so it seems apparent that he uses ad hominems as a debating tactic to try to smear other editors and/or as a distracting tactic. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:57, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
He has in fact.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 02:05, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

No actionable evidence presented against ChrisO

4) No actionable evidence regarding any substantive violation of policy by Template:Userlinks has been presented.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Proposed. Kirill and Vassyana will recognise this wording - it's literally the case that I'm not even mentioned in passing on the evidence page. -- ChrisO (talk) 13:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
By virtue of its unpleasant workload, the Committee generally only issues negative findings: all editors are presumed to have committed no malpractice unless it is proven—and the sitting arbitrators pass a finding resolving—otherwise. Is there any reason why this is being proposed (such as implications made out with this case that have resulted in your being coloured as a problematic user)? AGK 18:11, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Church of Scientology IP addresses banned from editing

1) Editors shall not edit articles relating to Scientology from shared IP addresses owned by or associated with the Church of Scientology.

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Comment by others:
Proposed, to address the difficulties caused by shared IP usage as identified in my first proposed principle. To ensure more transparent editing, editors currently using Scientology corporate networks to edit articles relating to Scientology should use alternative networks instead. This would require us to IP-ban ns1.scientology.org and ws.scientology.org. This would not prevent Scientologists from editing, but by dispersing them to alternative networks it should make it much easier to identify and resolve allegations of sockpuppetry. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, I think. Makes a lot of sense. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:57, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. The use of an organization's resources to edit articles on the organization is inextricably connected to a conflict of interest. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that this remedy is supported by long term evidence.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Derflipper, Shutterbug and TaborG banned for sockpuppetry

2) Derflipper, Shutterbug and TaborG are banned [for one year?] for sockpuppetry.

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Proposed, based on the proposed finding of fact that these three appear to be the same individual. I have left the period of the ban open - I suggest a year, given the length of time that this seems to have been going on. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
At least a year, as this party has clearly attempted to game Wikipedia edits.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:44, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Grrrilla and Misou banned for sockpuppetry

3) Grrrilla and Misou are banned [for one year?] for sockpuppetry.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
See above. Grrrilla hasn't made a single edit since April 2007. Jayen466 11:52, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Well then, cleaning up old sockpuppet accounts would seem pretty uncontroversial to me. If an account is a sockpuppet, there's no need to leave the door open for the puppeteer to use that account again. --GoodDamon 16:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems to have escaped your notice that the proposal calls for the banning of both Misou and Grrrilla. Or are you saying that we should ban Misou now, because 2 years ago he may have used a sockpuppet? Sometimes I really wonder whether I have inadvertently entered the twilight zone!! Jayen466 16:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
It should also be noted that Template:User has claimed to be a content contributor to Operation Clambake, the most prominent anti-Scientology site on the web. Jayen466 17:05, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Which is of no relevance whatsoever to the question of whether these two accounts should be blocked for socking. Please stick to the issue at hand. -- ChrisO (talk) 01:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Normally, I would have agreed with you. But admins here have taken the view that known or assumed CoIs, affiliations and motivations are all relevant background information to be taken into account, over and above the quality of the discussed edits themselves. Even where no such disclosures have been made, it is apparently still okay to speculate -- if an editor, say, spends upwards of 10 hours daily making thousands of POV-coloured edits in a particular subject area, editors may wonder if the person in question is editing Wikipedia as a paid, full-time job. (Come to think of it, sometimes I wonder if editors shouldn't have an upper limit of 2000 edits per month or so, to prevent advanced addiction and resulting social dysfunction.) :-) Jayen466 03:09, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed, based on the proposed finding of fact that these two appear to be the same individual. I have left the period of the ban open - I suggest a year, given the length of time that this seems to have been going on. -- ChrisO (talk) 10:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by User:Will Beback

Proposed principles

Policies should not be edited by parties to an ongoing dispute without disclosure

1) Editors should not make significant changes to policies and guidelines that are relevant to any disputes in which they are engaged. Proposals for policy changes that are inspired by active or former disputes should disclose those disputes.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Not sure whether this particular formulation quite nails the concept, but Will is onto something. Certainly, Jossi was disruptive when he failed to disclose an ongoing dispute as he first altered policy to gain the upper hand in that dispute, then edit warred the policy into full protection. That example underscored the pattern of failures at disclsoure and self-serving disruption that I had documented in evidence, and demonstrated that he had no intention of reforming or stepping back from that habit. DurovaCharge! 21:25, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm open to rephrasing this to "nail the concept". Can you suggest any improvements? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
People who game the system habitually tend to attempt end runs around specific measures that attempt to address particular games. It's not too hard to imagine a fellow who was already so adept at exploiting backchannel manipulation switching tactics to get someone else to alter policy on his behalf. Also, there's a risk of fallout (per Jehochman's observation) that could encumber good faith attempts to fix policies that really do have weak spots in particular situations. I've attempted a more holistic level principle by addressing disclosures generally in my proposals above. Perhaps an equally holistic 'gaming the system' principle would be appropriate also. DurovaCharge! 23:42, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. This is to prevent gaming the system. During this arbitration Jossi made edits to at least three policies to favor his position in a related content and behavior dispute, without seeking prior consensus or even mentioning the dispute. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I think this represents best practices, but I do not think it needs to be mandatory. If somebody is in a dispute and they realize that a poorly written policy has contributed the dispute by failing to set proper expectations, why not let them propose corrections? If one cites a policy in their own defense after having changed it, such games are very easily spotted by viewing the edit history. The problem is not editing, it is self-serving editing. That needs to be investigated on a case by case basis. Jehochman Talk 20:13, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, disputes often bring to light the need to either copy edit a policy for clarity or to change it to cover a previously unseen need. This doesn't prohibit involved parties from making proposals. But if a significant change is going to be made it probably shouldn't be made by a party to the dispute, and the existence of the dispute should be disclosed in a discussion of the proposal. Connecting policy changes with related disputes is not that simple, especially for prolific policy contributors like Jossi. In this case he didn't simply propose changes: he made them without prior discussion, edit warred over them, and never mentioned the related dispute. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:27, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
This is basically extends the COI guideline, which just deals to articles, to policies. Folks with a conflict should avoid making policy changes, and should limit themselves to making talk page proposals. Would it be better if it explicitly said something about it being OK to propose changes? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
This makes sense.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:42, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Jossi gamed the system

1) Jossi gamed the system by editing policies to support his position in a dispute, and did not disclose the dispute to others. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed As shown by evidence. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

Jossi admonished about policy changes

1) Jossi admonished to not make policy changes related to disputes in which he's a party. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Endorse - I am truly astonished to see an administrator behaving like that. The accusations about Cirt pale in comparison. There should be a standing policy that anyone involved in a formal dispute is to refrain from editing policies and guidelines that apply to that dispute. --GoodDamon 20:03, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. To prevent recurrences, should Jossi return to active editing. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Note: When I posted this I hadn't realized that Jossi had resigned his adminship, and I had doubted that his retirement would be permanent. I now believe that it is intended to be permanent and if it is this remedy is unnecessary. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:27, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
We don't know for sure that Jossi (the person) will stay away permanently. Therefore, I believe appropriate sanctions for his behavior are still warranted. Cla68 (talk) 23:53, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Since I posted my last note here I've come across evidence of serious violations by Jossi in the past. I see no benefit to posting it now since he has resigned and retired. However, if he were to return I would file a case to present it, the age of the violation notwithstanding. I no longer believe that he's approached the project in good faith, or that he's dealt with other editors honestly.   Will Beback  talk  02:46, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think you may want to present the evidence because it might lead to places you don't yet realize. For instance, it might show that actions against other users were improper and those users should be exonerated. The evidence might suggest ways that we should modify policy to make Wikipedia a better place. Jehochman Talk 03:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. However I am expect to have only intermittent access to the Internet this month so I don't know if I'll be able to post anything specific in a timely manner. I'll devote as much time as I can to preparing the evidence, though this case may be over by the time it's ready. If so, I can submit it directly to the Arbcom or in some other form.   Will Beback  talk  03:59, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Jehochman, please present all the evidence you have. Get it all out and "in the record" because we may need to reference it again in the future for reasons that may or may not be directly related to this case. Cla68 (talk) 00:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposals by User:Rlevse

Proposed principles

Resigning adminship during RFAR under questionable circumstances is "under a cloud"

1) Admins who are heavily involved in a RFAR and resign their adminship under questionable circumstances, are deemed to have resigned "under a cloud" and must regain adminship through RFA.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Support as proposer. Also per precedent: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Philwelch.RlevseTalk 14:32, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Concur, though I'd put it softer (some may resign due to upset or pressure, not wrongdoing). RFAR is "serius bizness" in wiki dispute terms. We handle the toughest communal disputes here, and the concerns of the community that lead a user to a case page as a "heavily involved" party, are serious. Users may leave at any time, and may return at any time. For some, the "drama" and pressure makes them leave or be distant when a case may be happening.
But it is at such times a user must be open, because it's the one point a matter may be resolved. We cannot in a practical way come back to it when it's "stale" a month later, nor can we write off the concerns that brought them here. A number of users may indeed leave only to return, and that has to be factored in; we cannot tell in any given case.
Realistically, when a user leaves as a case is foreseeable or open, we may have to make a summary decision "in any event". A user who would wish that avoided should present their evidence, and one who resigns can surely appeal on their return. But they need to expect (short term absence for illness or "real-life" matters aside) that we will try to "close the issue", regardless of their presence or otherwise, based on what we see at the time. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:22, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This appears to be standard when the admin is a party who might have their conduct reviewed by the committee. Cool Hand Luke 19:12, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Support Can't really add anything to what others have said. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:34, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll offer a more refined wording based on precedent. (The term "under a cloud" has unwanted connotations and should not be used in an official decision.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:12, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
I am both saddened and shocked by this turn of events. Regretfully, I support this set of proposals. Jehochman Talk 17:04, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
This is standard. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Jossi's conduct

1) Jossi has edited policy to his advantage while involved in disputes related thereto.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Support as proposer. See Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Jossi_alters_NPA_policy_to_gain_upper_hand_in_a_dispute_during_this_case and Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Changing_policies_while_in_a_dispute. RlevseTalk 16:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Without question, this is true. SDJ 23:57, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Jossi and Cirt

2) There is a history of tension between Cirt and Jossi.

Comment by Arbitrators:
See evidence at User:Durova/Scientology_arbitration/Jossi_evidence#Jossi.27s_continued_pursuit_of_Cirt. Note, I would not support a desyssop of Jossi on the evidence in this case, but I do feel his resigning meets the "is this under a cloud" standard. Others have presented workshop proposals on Cirt, so I have refrained from duplicating those. RlevseTalk 16:22, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
This is now well-documented. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Jossi must regain adminship through RFA

1) We note that Template:Admin has retired and resigned his adminship at this time. Accordingly a large part of this case is believed moot. Should Jossi return for any reason to Wikipedia, he would be welcome to rejoin as a valued member of the community, but would be requested to ensure he has the confidence of the community through the RFA process if he desires to return as an administrator also.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Support as proposer. Also per precedent in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Philwelch. RlevseTalk 14:29, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. This is important; I think we do not need more evidence about Jossi. It's not central to the case and is nicely resolved by this set of findings. Cool Hand Luke 19:12, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
In substance, good. Needs refinement. The header must regain adminship through RFA is incompatible with the body would be requested... If you intend to require something, please make that explicit; I wouldn't want another editor to go through the nightmare that followed the Matthew Hoffman case desysopping. Regarding the rest, see my evidence addendum. DurovaCharge! 04:40, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Does MZMcBride's more concise rewrite clarify this? I'm certain we mean that RFA would be required if sysophood is sought again. Cool Hand Luke 04:45, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. DurovaCharge! 04:49, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Support - as per the comments of Rlevse and Cool Hand Luke above. John Carter (talk) 19:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Support, as retirement should never be used to avoid sanctions by Arbcom. Also, community trust is paramount to gaining the tools, and I believe should be required to retain them as well. This remedy deals with that problem quite nicely. SDJ 23:56, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
The grammar of this could stand for some improvement. Proposed language:

Template:Admin resigned his adminship and retired from the project, making a large part of this case moot. Should Jossi return to actively contributing to the project, he would be re-welcomed as a valued member of the community, but he would be required to re-submit to the RFA process should he wish to regain adminship.

--MZMcBride (talk) 00:15, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Support. I hadn't realized that Jossi resigned until I saw this. But I agree, that any admin who resigns under a cloud should reapply at RFA. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:21, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by User:Jehochman

Proposed principles

Misuse of arbitration

1) Arbitration enforcement and Requests for arbitration may not be used as opportunities to retaliate against content opponents by raising frivolous claims.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. Jehochman Talk 21:39, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. --Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Hounding

2) Editors may not follow others around for the purpose of driving them off or undoing their legitimate actions. Such actions may constitute harassment if persistent.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Proposed. Jehochman Talk 21:39, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. --Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:37, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed findings of fact

Justanother

1) Justanother attempted to undermine Cirt's RFA,[95] misused arbitration enforcement[96] and misused the arbitration process (e.g. placing farcical proposals on this page) to hinder Cirt's participation in Wikipedia.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Now this looks like retaliation. I posted legitimate objections to Cirt's adminship and Jehochman has a problem with that? What is your problem, Jehochman? Are you really so opposed to any dissent? Talk about chilling effect. Jehochman is putting this stuff up here with scant, if any evidence, in pure retaliation against me for raising legitimate concerns. PS, Jehochman, you should really use my current username as 1) you suggested it to me and 2) "Justanother" has not posted an edit to this project in well over a year. --Justallofthem (talk) 16:13, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Proposed. Jehochman Talk 21:39, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. --Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Oppose. It is debatable if this itself is a violation of the principles suggested by this user above. Jayen466 17:45, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed remedies

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

Justanother

1) Template:User is indefinitely prohibited from hounding, investigating or commenting on Template:User.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Hmm. What would you think about a symmetrical remedy? (Something like "Justanother and Cirt are prohibited from commenting on each other; all editors are reminded to comment on the content, not the contributor.") I ask because one-way comment bans are prone to trouble when one party comments but the other is prohibited from responding. Enforcement in such circumstances can be very drama-prone. Cool Hand Luke 21:57, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I thought about that, but we need to be careful of treating different cases the same. Is there any evidence of Cirt hounding Justanother? Perhaps the prohibition would say that if any administrator asks Justanother to back away from Cirt, Justanother is expected to comply, and may be blocked for failing to do so. This would avoid sanctions being applied for innocuous interactions, such as if the two editors decided to edit the same article, or if Justanother responded to a comment by Cirt. Jehochman Talk 22:03, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
"Is there any evidence of Cirt hounding Justanother?" IDK, did you look? You might remember this instance of Cirt (and you) "hounding" me. And what is your "evidence" that I hounded Cirt - I opposed his RFA and I brought a concern, a shared concern, I might mention, to WP:AE? This whole "hounding" thing is a red herring. There have been few recent instances of hounding on either of our parts. I brought a legitimate concern to AE and simply asked that Cirt be cautioned, that is it. PS, that instance back in March that I refer to above all had to do with Cirt repeatedly violating WP:BLP - if anyone really is interested in that sort of stuff, they can look at this. It is what we call "evidence" - you know long, boring, full of diffs. --Justallofthem (talk) 16:22, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
This is in response to Cool Hand Luke... Cirt's commenting on Justanother hasn't been a problem, as he hasn't made a habit of doing so, as near as I can tell. --GoodDamon 22:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Right. I haven't seen evidence to suggest that Cirt has a problem with this. I'm just thinking about how we can reduce the potential for future drama. Perhaps all we need is to add a statement that only truly uninvolved admins should enforce this remedy. I'll keep it in the back of my mind. Cool Hand Luke 23:35, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by others:
This is the general idea of what's needed. The Committee can fine tune the wording. We need a one way prohibition on Justanother following Cirt around to cause trouble. Jehochman Talk 21:39, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

1.1) Template:User is cautioned not to hound Template:User. If any uninvolved administrator asks Justanother to disengage from an involvement with Cirt, Justanother is expected to comply.

Comment by arbs:
This is good. I think any behavioral remedies should have an "uninvolved admin" clause to mitigate the potential for drama. Cool Hand Luke 23:35, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Well, if we want to "mitigate the potential for drama", let's just delete all the Scientology articles. Because so long as critics of Scientology with little understanding of the subject itself and zero demonstrated interest in presenting it fairly are given free rein, nay official blessing, to run rough-shod over the occasional Scientologist who has the temerity to show his face here, well, in that case, "the potential for drama" is a bit of a foregone conclusion. And I am still waiting for Jehochman to present any evidence. As in, you know, evidence. I "attempted to undermine Cirt's RFA" by casting an !Oppose. Can someone please toss him a clue? --Justallofthem (talk) 16:01, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
How about this instead? I think Justanother is a good faith user, but they seem to have a blind spot and may not understand when they cross the line with their interactions with Cirt. Jehochman Talk 22:22, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Church of Scientology

2) Editors who have used or are using Church of Scientology IP addresses are banned from editing any pages related to the Church of Scientology, broadly construed, for a period of one year.

Comment by Arbitrators:


Comment by Parties:


Comment by Others:
I think there is enough evidence of shennanigans related to CoS editing its own articles and disrupting the formation of consensus elsewhere. Because self-restraint has failed, external restraint is necessary. If the CoS has problems with any of our articles, we should provide them with some sort of mechanism to give us feedback. Would WP:OTRS work? Jehochman Talk 01:46, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
This remedy is supported by the evidence.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 06:39, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
OTRS doesn't have time to update articles. If the COS are banned, they don't get a say in anything except the talk pages. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 16:04, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposals by Circeus

Proposed findings of fact

Cirt

1) Although Cirt has on occasions made mistakes in applying the Reliable sources policy to biographies of living persons, he has, when dispute arose in these cases, gone through normal dispute resolution channels, recognized his errors and allowed the matter to settle to general satisfaction.

Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
Quite a few findings/sanctions regarding Cirt above have met with strong opposition, and Cirt's actions have, for various reasons, collected a certain deal of attention in the case, so I figured a proposal dealing with the opposite PoV could not hurt. Circeus (talk) 06:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
This seems factual. Jehochman Talk 06:20, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposals by Roger Davies

Proposed findings of fact (1)

Single purpose POV accounts

The following accounts are single-purpose accounts focused on Scientology. These accounts edit similar articles and contribute to similar discussions from similar points of view from common IP addresses ([97], [98]) in a manner impossible to distinguish from sockpuppets and in a manner suggestive of a conflict of interest:


Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Note: Bravehartbear is clearly a SPA but may not belong to the above group. Is there any evidence implicating him in shared IP address usage? I thought his communication style and geographical location were different. I also haven't seen him engage in coordinated and combative editing the way some of these other accounts have done. Jayen466 09:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be right. Must have been swept up from Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/COFS, although he was not actually confirmed. I am not aware of any evidence that he has shared equipment. Cool Hand Luke 13:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
Please delete my name from the above list. I'm not a party in this case and I have never edited from a church IP. The request to ad me as a party to this case by Cirt [112] was denied. Bravehartbear (talk) 20:09, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Misou

Template:User is a Scientology-focused single purpose account[113] who has edited from Scientology-operated equipment both on Wikipedia[114] and on WikiNews[115]; has been blocked on Wikipedia for personal attacks and incivility[116]; has been blocked on WikiNews for concealing connections with the Church of Scientology[117]; and still persists in incivility (examples: [118], [119], [120], [121], [122], [123]).


Comment by Arbitrators:
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:


Fahrenheit451

A) This user is heavily involved in battlefield editing within the Scientology topic {examples:[124][125][126][127][128][129]) and also have a document suggestive of a POV within his/her userspace (User:Fahrenheit451/Guide). The editor is heavily focused on Scientology and his/her contributions include (first number is ranking in his top edited articles, the second the actual number of edits):

B) This editor has refused to cooperate with this proceeding as an involved party and has been indefinitely blocked.[130]

Comment by Arbitrators:
I would not vote for B. The point is that the case proceeds whether or not he ignores ArbCom. Cool Hand Luke 17:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:
"have" should be "had" (deleted 2007) 86.44.25.106 (talk) 03:11, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

David Gerard

This editor apparently has connections with online Scientology activism. As he is very active within the Scientology topic, concerns have been raised about his neutrality and his involvement in the speedy closing of two articles - Tim Bowles AfD and Body thetan AfD. Notes: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#Investigative reporting on Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance re: Scientology-related issues=OR

Comment by Arbitrators:
I know that this situation has been the subject of some discussion. But, how recent are the issues here? Has there been any previous DR? Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:42, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
Comment by others:

Phil Sandifer

This editor is involved with Scientology-related blocks, particularly of User:Terryeo and, more recently, User:Crotalus horridus. The latter block is exceptional because it is for disruption, the disruption apparently being to nominate two articles - Tim Bowles and Body thetan - for deletion. The two articles were also unusually speedily closed by Phil Sandifer after a very short while, which may be suggestive of a POV.

Comment by Arbitrators:
I know there has been some general discussion here, and there was consensus on the noticeboard against the block, but I don't know of any previous DR. Have there been any more recent issues? Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:44, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
I have trouble taking seriously a suggestion that two blocks over two years, along with a pair of AfDs, constitute involvement on an arbitration-worthy level. To my knowledge no prior dispute resolution has been attempted with me save for an ANI discussion about the Crotalus block, which I had thought had resolved the matter to everyone's satisfaction. There is, perhaps, some sort of joke I'm not in on here? Phil Sandifer (talk) 18:43, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Apparently I'm not being let in on the joke either. I do have some first-hand knowledge of the User:Terryeo block which might be relevant. Roger omits the context of the block (a problem which recurs through many of his proposed FoFs, perhaps most egregiously in the one he's drafted concerning me). The editor in question - a Scientologist who appears to pop up on forums and blogs all over the Internet [131] - was the subject of a previous arbitration case in which he was placed indefinitely on personal attack parole.[132] He repeatedly broke this and was sanctioned for it several times.[133] Phil finally blocked Terryeo after he posted links to attack sites. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:04, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:

Cirt

4) From careful examination of the submitted evidence, the committee concludes that, since his request for adminship in September 2008, Template:Admin does not appear to have deliberately violated policy and/or deliberately misused administrative tools.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 16:39, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Would not be opposed to a timeframe suggestion, but I think it's implied that he hasn't deliberately violated policy since receiving his administrative tools. Cool Hand Luke 19:11, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    I've made that explicit. — Roger Davies talk 19:32, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    Okay now with the timeframe delineated. Risker (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC) Template:Clerk-noteVote struck at arbitrator's request --Tznkai (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Casliber (talk contribs) 10:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  4. Yes. There is stacks of evidence that Cirt does not like Scientology, but we already know that, and it's not the subject of this arbitration. There is no evidence of a significant problem in administrative tool use. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  5. Wizardman 04:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. I think it is undisputed that at an earlier stage of his Wikipedia career, there were issues with Cirt's editing, so this requires a time frame for best evaluation. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:43, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    Added the RfA date. — Roger Davies talk 19:32, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties


Comments by others


GoodDamon

5) After careful examination of the submitted evidence, the committee finds that Template:User does not appear to have engaged in serious problematic editing.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 23:49, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. I consider the Cirt finding different because he was alleged to have violated administrative policy. We should address that sort of charge because we're the only body that can resolve it. In this case, no "exoneration" should be included; anyone we don't address in findings is presumed to be unproblematic (or at least not so problematic that ArbCom should caution them). Cool Hand Luke 14:16, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Per Cool Hand Luke. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
  1. As in the Eastern European disputes (f/k/a Piotrus 2) case, I am not sure whether "exoneration" findings are best included in published final decisions. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:43, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    Per Newyorkbrad. Risker (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC) Template:Clerk-noteVote struck at arbitrator's request --Tznkai (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Jossi

6) During the course of this proceeding, in which certain allegations had been made against Template:Admin, Jossi voluntarily resigned his adminship on 23 December 2008 by email to the Arbitration Committee, when he stated he was retiring from Wikipedia.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. With remedy 1 below. Cool Hand Luke 14:55, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. — Roger Davies talk 14:59, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Added "in which certain allegations had been made against Jossi"; the fact that the resignation occurred during an arbitration case is the basis for the remedy. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:43, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    Risker (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC) Template:Clerk-noteVote struck at arbitrator's request --Tznkai (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  4. Casliber (talk contribs) 10:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  5. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  6. Wizardman 04:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

John254

7) During the course of this proceeding, Template:User was banned by the community for sockpuppetry[134]. Among his other infractions, John254 edited the case pages in this arbitration under two different usernames (John254 and Template:User), presenting inconsistent workshop proposals, with the apparent intent of causing drama and inflaming the dispute; this was not the first time in which John254 appeared intent on creating unnecessary controversy on already drama-laden dispute-resolution pages.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 14:59, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Added second sentence to tie the finding into this case and set up any related remedy. Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:43, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Cool Hand Luke 19:12, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    Risker (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC) Template:Clerk-noteVote struck at arbitrator's request --Tznkai (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
  4. Casliber (talk contribs) 10:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  5. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  6. Wizardman 04:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Misou

8) Template:User is a Scientology-focused single purpose account[135] who has edited from Scientology-operated equipment both on Wikipedia[136] and on WikiNews[137]; has been blocked on Wikipedia for personal attacks and incivility[138]; has been blocked on WikiNews for concealing connections with the Church of Scientology[139]; and still persists in incivility (examples: [140], [141], [142], [143], [144], [145]).

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 15:00, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Cool Hand Luke 22:08, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Are there more recent examples of incivility? The en.wp blocks and diffs are all from 2007. Cool Hand Luke 14:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
This editor hardly posted in 2008 apart from in this and another proceeding. — Roger Davies talk 14:30, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Justallofthem

9) Template:User is a single purpose account who has serially breached policy to advance his/her point of view. Disruptive behaviour includes sockpuppetry (examples: [146]); harassment and personal attacks (examples: [147], [148], [149]); and arguably abusing AfD processes (examples: [150], [151], [152], [153] and [154]).

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 14:48, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. Clear behavioral problems with Cirt, but I don't think user has abused AfD process. He's apparently nominated articles in good faith, and several of them have been deleted, including several ridiculously problematic BLPs. More than any other, this AfD convinced me that we should default to delete for BLPs. That biography was created and maintained by apparent USENET enemies with the apparent intent of mocking the subjects—I don't think I would have behaved much differently. Cool Hand Luke 14:39, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. I would agree that the issue of marginally notable BLPs is a systemic one and the behaviour exhibited is not that far from the norm currently. Casliber (talk contribs) 23:01, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. This finding is put in rather extreme terms; I don't see a problem with his AfD nominations. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Justallofthem 9.1

9.1) Template:User is a single purpose account who has serially breached policy to advance his/her point of view. Disruptive behaviour includes sockpuppetry (examples: [155]); harassment and personal attacks (examples: [156], [157], [158]).

Comments by arbitrators
Support
  1. Alternative, sans AfD. — Roger Davies talk 15:26, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Casliber (talk contribs) 23:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. Minded to support but I would have thought it would be better drafted by mentioning Cirt since all his problems seem to come from being unable to work with him. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Shutterbug

10) Template:User is a single purpose account who has serially breached policy to advance his/her point of view and has a long history of disruption. Disruptive behaviour includes: sockpuppetry on Wikipedia (examples: [159], [160]); ban evasion on WikiNews (example: [161]); breached neutrality policies (example: [162]); been incivil (example: [163]); inproperly removed sourced material (examples: [164] and [165]).

Comments by Arbitrators
Support:
  1. Cool Hand Luke 14:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Casliber (talk contribs) 23:24, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
  3. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Jayen466

11) Template:User has edited disruptively and tendentiously, edit-warring and misrepresenting policy, particularly that relating to biographies of living people and sources, to advance his/her own agenda (examples: [166], [167], [168] and [169]).

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1. — Roger Davies talk 14:32, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
    Cool Hand Luke 14:42, 16 March 2009 (UTC) Abstaining for now. Cool Hand Luke 22:08, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Casliber (talk contribs) 23:31, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. I don't think that Jayen is a single purpose account by any definition. He has over 200 edits to Six Sigma and edits mainstream travel, politics, pop-culture, and other areas. There do seem to be some BLP problems, but does not fall under WP:SPA. Cool Hand Luke 13:59, 16 March 2009 (UTC) Moved to support. Cool Hand Luke 14:42, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
    I've removed it. It depends how you slice the data and it's not really important.— Roger Davies talk 14:32, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
    Looks like he's about 50/50 to me. That's not an SPA. Cool Hand Luke 14:42, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  2. Too extreme. Sam Blacketer
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Proposed findings of fact (2)

Administrator conduct and editing environment

8) The following administrators have at times failed to set a good example and have contributed towards creating a hostile environment in Scientology.

A) Template:Admin focused on the person and not the content in opposing deletion at WP:AFD for a series of seven Scientology-related articles.[170][171][172][173][174][175][176] already on article probation.[177] Although David Gerard later apologised, his remarks had already influenced the tone of the debate.[178]

B) Template:Admin peremptorily closed three Scientology-related article for deletion discussions[179][180][181] and placed a poorly judged block on the nominator[182].


Comments by arbitrators
Please see comments/questions above. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:48, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Antaeus Feldspar

10) Template:User is primarily focused on Scientology-related articles[183], and has contributed to the toxic atmosphere with:incivility[184], [185], [186], [187] and edit-warring [188], [189], [190], [191], [192]).

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. Unless I am missing something, this user really hasn't edited in two years. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:50, 10 May 2009 (UTC)


Abstain:
Comments by parties

Wow, I come back (for, as Newyorkbrad points out, the first time in what probably is two years) and find that I've somehow become a party to this arbitration. It does raise some interesting questions: suppose one of the editors that Jayen466 added as a party to this arbitration turned out to have died long before the arbitration began? If and when that fact was discovered, would Jayen466 be forced to admit that they were irrelevant to his alleged case and remove them from the arbitration?

For the record, though I'm not dead, I've come to regard Wikipedia as pretty much a lost cause. Why? Well, an arbitration like this is a very good example of why. If Wikipedia wasn't far out of control, a move like adding a user whose last edit to any Scientology-related article was in June 2007 to an arbitration on Scientology-related articles would never pass the guffaw test.

As for the rest of Jayen466's "evidence" against me, the word that comes to mind is definitely "cherry-picking". If someone were trying, hypothetically, to gin up a bogus argument that I was a highly uncivil editor, they would probably go searching on my user talk page and archives for any appearance of the word "civil" or "civility"; they would certainly find this edit in which someone else admonishes me to be civil; they would probably then submit that link as "evidence" that I'd been uncivil. Anyone examining the entire incident, however, would see that it started with these edits by 24.15.61.184: [193], [194], [195], [196], [197], [198], [199], [200], [201], [202], [203], [204], [205], and [206]. Would anyone attempting to apply a rational standard consider this edit in May 2006 to be so severe a response that it constitutes evidence in May 2009 that the editor is guilty of "contributing to a toxic atmosphere" and "incivility"? Quite doubtful. (If Jayen466 thought that such a response was actually indicative of problematic incivility, would he not by consistency have to be opposed also to far more uncivil edits such as this, this, and this, which we know came to his attention?)

Finally, in a similar vein, I will suggest that if someone is a highly active editor for just about three years and this is one of the five most uncivil edits you can find in his history, what you're looking at is actually a damn good editor. Or in this case, former editor. -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 02:53, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

This will be my final comment on this ArbCom action. This entire arbitration stands out as wrongly conducted in so many ways, but the part that keeps drawing my attention is this assertion by Wizardman:

"His edits warrant a topic ban, but it's moot if he's gone."

Well, my edits either do warrant a topic ban, or they don't. I have to wonder: if my edits were really that bad, why is it that no one noticed while I was actively editing? I've never been (to my knowledge) the subject of any arbitration before; my conduct has never led to an RFC; I've never even been blocked. If my edits were truly so bad as to make me a clear and present danger to Wikipedia nearly two years after I've ceased active editing, why was there no indication of it when I was actively editing? When I was, to put it bluntly, here to defend myself?

Frankly, I seem to remember ArbCom punishments such as bans and topic-bans as being fairly rare. Probably a big reason behind their rarity was that they were only supposed to be applied after other forms of dispute resolution had been tried and had failed.

Obviously things have changed.

And on one point, Wizardman and Coren, I will tell you that you are just simply wrong. Both of you expressed the sentiment that 'if Antaeus Feldspar is gone, then it won't do any harm to slap a severe ArbCom punishment on him'. Well, it does do harm. It harms my reputation, quite obviously. It harms your reputations as arbitrators, because you wouldn't say it if you had actual confidence in the rightness of your decision: either the punishment is justified by the evidence (which in this case is pitiful) or it is not, but you cannot justify a punishment by noting that the punishment you propose happens to coincide with what the natural course of events seems to have already brought. No one would say "Well, I think the defendant should get the death penalty; after all, he's already pretty unwell" -- when that is a justification worth mentioning, it means your other justifications aren't worth squat.

And finally, it does harm to Wikipedia. Because who in their right minds would volunteer their effort and energy and time to a project that may well choose to repay them by slandering them behind their backs? It's a plain fact that Wikipedia is seen by individuals and organizations with agendas all over the world as an excellent platform for propaganda; the only way that Wikipedia can avoid losing all credibility is if it has editors who are courageous enough to stand against such misuse, who can resist the temptation to duck their heads down and let it be Someone Else's Problem when the agenda-driven organization makes its inevitable smear campaign counterattack. Yet what sort of imbecile is going to do that on behalf of Wikipedia when Wikipedia will turn around and join that smear campaign? Will rubber-stamp the most pitiful sort of evidence and use it to justify pissing in the face of an editor who gave years of effort to Wikipedia?

If Wikipedia wants to drive away all editors but those who "go along to get along", and those who are gaming the system for their own agendas, then it knows just how to do so: continue blatantly unjust "arbitrations" like this one. -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 02:44, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Comments by others
  • Jayen listed Antaeus Feldspar among "editors who historically appear to have made the vast majority of their article namespace edits to Scientology-related topics". But by my calculation Antaeus has made only a little over 1013 edits to Scientology-related articles, out of a total of 9234 mainspace edits (11%). That is far from the "vast majority" of his edits. By comparison, Jayen himself has made something over 1116 edits to Scientology-related articles, out of a total of 7596 mainspace edits (15%). Considering that Antaeus hasn't edited in years, this complaint appears to be spurious.   Will Beback  talk  04:06, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Anynobody

11) Template:User and alternate account Template:User were the primary contributor to L. Ron Hubbard and the military and USS PC-815, a ship on which Hubbard served.[207][208]. This editor has engaged in pushing a point-of-view[209][210] and has added original graphic material with the apparent object of disparaging the subject.[211][212][213][214][215] A prior Scientology arbitration determined that this editor harrassed User:Justanother, an editor with an opposing point-of-view.[216]

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. Again, unless I am missing something, I see little Scientology-related editing in a very long time. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:53, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

ChrisO

13) Template:Admin has failed to set a good example and has inserted anonymously authored material from an essentially tabloid source in a biography of a living person[217][218]; refused to speedy delete Barbara Schwarz as an attack article[219]; restored edits with a bad source[220]; edit-warred to retain unflattering connections in a BLP, which he originally inserted[221][222]; and created Oxford Capacity Analysis, citing his own works as a source; in a manner suggestive of a conflict of interest.

Revised proposal posted.  Roger Davies talk 16:32, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
  2. Strike the Oxford Capacity Analysis, clearly. Contra ChrisO's claims below, the information he restored to the attack article was not a selfpub exception. See, for example, the essay interpretation of WP:RS at WP:USENET. I'm troubled by how it was used in the attack BLP, along with this BLP-unworthy source. Cool Hand Luke 06:31, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
  1. Oppose. This is a dismayingly sloppy set of findings. Some are just plain wrong; others ignore context or make unjustified assumptions. No evidence is provided in several cases. I'm not even mentioned in passing on the evidence page and I wasn't a party to this case until Roger unilaterally added me a month ago, along with many other editors. Because none of this has been discussed on the evidence page - where I'm not even mentioned in passing - I'll respond here.
  • Neil Gaiman. I have not edit-warred and no evidence has been presented that I did. This finding misrepresents my edits and ignores my efforts to find consensus. Roger's diffs show two single edits on different content two years apart. The first diff was a reversion of a removal of sourced content without consensus by User:Su-Jada, a Scientology-focused SPA. The second diff reversion was of a removal of sourced content without consensus by User:EchoofReason, an obvious and very belligerent sockpuppet who turned out to be a sock of the indefinitely banned User:ColScott. With this diff, Roger takes the information in question out of context - it was only one line in a reliably sourced paragraph that I added about the subject's family history, which was previously scantily covered [223]. The paragraph was not added to disparage the subject but faithfully reflects the source, a newspaper interview with his father. I reject the implication that we should not include "unflattering" information (unflattering in whose eyes?). There is a legitimate debate to be had about the weight that should be given to particular details, and I've always sought to find consensus on this (see talk page discussions). In both instances, a consensus was reached - which I agreed with - that the disputed information should be left out on the grounds of undue weight. NPOV requires strict neutrality, which is incompatible with Roger's implication that we should only include "flattering" information about BLP subjects. The article talk page shows that I have repeatedly sought to reach consensus with editors about weighting of info (see Talk:Neil Gaiman#Policy reminder, Talk:Neil Gaiman#Possible reference found, Talk:Neil Gaiman#Scientology redux and Talk:Neil Gaiman#Neil Gaiman is not a Scientologist), agreeing to exclude material where it's seen as undue weight.
  • Barbara Schwarz. Roger states accurately that I refused a speedy deletion request by User:Steve Dufour but omits the context. The article had already been through four AfDs [224], [225], [226], [227], the most recent only four months before the speedy deletion request. The third AfD was nominated by Steve, who if I recall correctly had a self-acknowledged COI (he claimed to be a personal friend of the subject). WP:CSD does not permit speedy deletion requests for articles which have survived AfD. It makes no exception for BLPs - the only exception given is for copyright infringements. I also could not have actioned the request anyway because I understood that under the terms of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS I could not use my tools in this topic area as an "involved administrator". It seems odd to censure me for not doing something I wasn't allowed to do anyway! I found the request on Category:Candidates for speedy deletion and only delisted it after it had been listed for six days without action. Another administrator, User:Johntex, had already rejected the claim on the article's talk page, numerous other admins had presumably passed over it on CSD during those six days, and I encouraged Steve to resolve the dispute through WP:CONSENSUS. See talk page discussion [228] under "Speedy deletion as attack article". Roger also cites a Usenet post. This had been added by another editor under WP:SELFPUB. Its authenticity was undisputed and attested by a mainstream source (the Salt Lake City Tribune - "Schwarz has posted [her life story] in more than 80 parts on the Web newsgroup alt.religion.scientology" [229]). It was removed by User:Stan En without consensus. After I reverted him, he decided following discussion that the reference was "good enough" (see talk page [230] under "Biographical Background". I admit that I did not see the reference at the end of the deleted paragraph, which should indeed have been excluded, and I acknowledge that was an inadvertent oversight on my part.
  • I did not create Oxford Capacity Analysis - it was started by User:Vivaldi in July 2005 [231]. My first edit to it was in September 2006, specifically to remove my own work as a non-reliable source.[232] I rewrote the article in January 2007 with a much broader range of sources - none of them being anything authored by myself.[233] This proposed finding of fact bears no relation to reality. -- ChrisO (talk) 13:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Please also see the proposed finding of fact #No actionable evidence presented against ChrisO above. -- ChrisO (talk) 13:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
In response to Luke's comments above, are you saying that I should be sanctioned for following process in the Barbara Schwarz case? The article had been kept at AfD in four deletion debates. WP:CSD explicitly disallows speedily deleting articles that have survived AfD. Following process does not imply a judgment about an article's merits. Second, where is the evidence of edit-warring at Neil Gaiman? The diffs presented show no such thing. Third, what is an "unflattering connection" - unflattering in whose eyes? If we're writing a biography, surely we have to be neutral about our coverage - we don't restrict our coverage to "flattering connections", which is the obvious implication of this claim. -- ChrisO (talk) 06:46, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
The link you are highlighting in Oxford Capacity Analysis is a convenience link to a third-party document - a Swedish municipal report. It was removed by Scientologist editors on blatantly POV grounds - see the edit summaries, "this source holds forgeries", "private hate site", etc. It is plainly false to describe this as "my own work" since I had no part whatsoever in writing or publishing it. In the case of Scientology and psychiatry, the reference appears to have been added by User:Irmgard on 14 August 2005 - note the access date on the reference.[243] My edits to that article have been minimal - I made a handful of edits in August 2006 [244] and those two reversions in 2007, and that's it. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:42, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Nope. The source was already there. I did not add the source in the first place (though I agree it shouldn't have been there). For some reason, an editor copied-and-pasted the entire contents of the linked source into the article. I simply reverted it to the status quo [245], the diff for which I note you've avoided citing. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:42, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by others
See comments by Chris and myself on proposed decision talk page. Several of the claims above are demonstrably false. Roger, can you please comment on who collected this "evidence", when, where and triggered by what/whom, and what other evidence was scrutinised in the process? Some diffs are from as far back as 2006; does this mean somebody plowed through the whole of Chris' edit history? Also, will you yourself be willing to re-consider this point in the light of the corrections provided? Fut.Perf. 13:00, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I think there's a problem with moral equivalence. Just because some people on the pro-Scientology side need to be sanctioned does not mean we should cherry pick a small number of diffs from an otherwise good editor's lengthy list of contributions to concoct grounds for sanctioning them without warning. No, this proposal is out of order. Editors are allowed to make occasional mistakes. I do not evidence of a habitual pattern of bad editing by ChrisO, unlike some of the other accounts under discussion. Jehochman Talk 21:04, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
13.1 ChrisO (revised)

13.1) Template:Admin made his first Wikipedia edit, in December 2004, with a contribution to Scientology and since then five (nos. 6, 7, 9, 13, 18) our of his twenty most-edited article are Scientology related.[246]

A) He first edited Barbara Schwarz, subsequently deleted as an attack page, in August 2005[247] and over 30 months, added content and references, reverted edits with which he disagreed, re-instated unreliably sourced material[248] and voted to "Keep" the article in an AfD discussion.[249] Despite his editorial involvement, in his administrative capacity, he protected the article[250]; declined a CSD[251]; and blocked the subject of the article herself.[252] Despite involvement, ChrisO also indefinitely blocked twelve accounts as her sockpuppets.

B) He has added or reinstated poor sources, in a manner suggestive of pursuing a point-of-view. For example:

C) In previous Requests for Arbitration, ChrisO has been (i) warned "to engage in only calm discussion and dispute resolution when in conflict"[269]; and (ii) was "admonished not use ... administrative tools without prior discussion and consensus".[270] Also, ChrisO has been blocked for WP:3RR in 2007 and 2008.[271]

Comment by Arbitrators:
Changed link to deleted talk page to link to ChrisO's logs related to block of subject of article, so that it is accessible to non-admin editors. Risker (talk) 17:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Revised proposal  Roger Davies talk 16:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
@ChrisO. I have amended the FOF to reflect some of your observations. The point perhaps about the attack page is people will inevitably respond negatively if they are the subject of an attack page on the world's most visited reference site and thus high in Google ratings. The judgment calls should have been made by a completely uninvolved administrator and not by one who had an interest in preserving the status quo. This applies not only to the original block but also to the numerous subsequent blocks of apparent socks. I note what you say about removal of sources you say you authored but this merely underlines the near impossibility of neutrality when editors who are established participants in off-wiki controversies attempt to edit in the same area on-Wiki.  Roger Davies talk 08:05, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by parties:
I'm glad to see that Roger has abandoned some of his more indefensible claims against me, but there are still numerous problems with these new ones. As Fut. Perf. has said below, several points are based on "highly dubious and ripped-out-of-context evidence". Some of Roger's edits seriously misrepresent my actions and he makes a number of statements which are readily disprovable as false. In addition, Roger's evidence is extremely stale. He cites diffs from as far back as September 2006. Most of his diffs relate to actions in 2007. The most recent diff is from February 2008 - 15 months ago.
  • It is false to say that I have "been heavily focused on Scientology articles since December 2004." Roger cites no evidence for this claim. I have been only lightly involved in this area since the start of 2008 and Roger cites no diffs more recent than February 2008. As my contributions show, there have been only four articles in this area which I've edited substantially in the last year: Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act, Engram (Dianetics), Super Power Building and User:ChrisO/Military career of L. Ron Hubbard, a rewrite of L. Ron Hubbard and the military, about which concerns were raised in this arbitration case. I have been involved in no controversy or conflict about any of those articles.
  • (Added) Roger has now added a toolserver link to "prove" that I am "heavily focused" on Scientology articles. Actually it shows no such thing and his comments omit any context about why the edits were made in the first place. I have made a total of 31,268 edits, of which 16,493 were in article space [272]. The list of my top 100 edits show a total of 806 edits of Scientology-related articles [273]. That amounts to 4.9% of my total edits to article space over five and a half years, the vast majority of those made towards the start of my editing career. As I've stated above, I've edited very lightly in this area in the last year - Roger has presented no evidence to show that I have been "heavily focused" on this area at any recent point in time. Roger fails to note that many of my edits to Scientology-related articles - 158 to Battlefield Earth (film), 124 to Xenu and 71 to Space opera in Scientology scripture - were in conjunction with successfully bringing them up to featured article status.
  • Barbara Schwarz. As I stated here, I voted to keep the article because I felt that it passed the notability requirements. So did my fellow admins User:Doug Bell, User:Tree Biting Conspiracy, User:Jreferee, User:Athaenara, User:Chrislk02, User:Jehochman, User:Grenavitar, User:Consumed Crustacean, User:Mel Etitis. I don't see any of them being named in findings of fact. Numerous admins and one arbitrator took the same view in the deletion review (in which I didn't participate) that followed the article's eventual deletion. I took the view that problems with the article could be resolved through the normal WP:CONSENSUS process and later sought to facilitate that (see below).
  • I reverted here per WP:SELFPUB; the source was an autobiographical statement by the subject of the article, the authorship of which was publicly acknowledged, verified by a mainstream media outlet (the Salt Lake Tribune) and undisputed by any party. I believed at the time that it was a reasonable application of WP:SELFPUB, though I probably wouldn't take that view now. I might add that other admins involved in trying to resolve the problems with the article took the same view - User:Fred Bauder, who was an arbitrator at the time, defended the citation of the Usenet postings on the grounds that they were "by the subject herself, telling her own story. More or less like a link to personal website." [274] Roger may be making the mistake of applying 2009 standards to 2006/07, when we (arguably) took a less strict approach than we do now.
  • The other actions cited by Roger demonstrate me trying to resolve the problems with the article through sticking to WP:CONSENSUS and WP:CSD. In protecting the article, I sought to end an edit war to enable the editors to reach agreement on the talk page about what to remove. Roger fails to note that when I lifted protection three days later I cut down the article to remove some of the most problematic areas. I declined a CSD because WP:CSD does not authorise speedy deletion requests for articles which have survived AfD. It makes no exception for BLPs - the only exception given is for copyright infringements. Roger fails to note that I encouraged the editors to find a consensual solution to the problems with the article; the editor who placed the CSD accepted this and acted on my advice. [275] That was my last involvement of any kind with this article. I did not oppose its subsequent deletion.
  • Roger states that I blocked User:The real Barbara Schwarz but fails to mention that I did so because the editor was committing gross violations of WP:HARASSMENT (see contributions). Roger has apparently also failed to notice that because she continued to post threats and out editors even after being blocked, her talk page had to be deleted and protected by User:Fred Bauder, an arbitrator.[276] I suggest that if Roger thinks my block of this editor was incorrect, he should ask Fred, who had to clean up after her.
  • Tom Cruise. In September 2006, I added a couple of lines sourced to Radar (magazine), which as far as I'm aware is considered a reliable source (it was nominated for a general excellence award by the American Society of Magazine Editors). In February 2008, I reverted a deletion of the lines by Template:User, a single purpose POV account who is listed under a separate FoF on this page. Other than that, there has been no controversy over the passage and nobody has disputed it until now.
  • Oxford Capacity Analysis. The website linked by Roger isn't one of mine - someone has evidently reposted some old material on their personal website. As Fut. Perf rightly says below, "the "self-published" material is clearly material authored by an independent, reliable source; the "unreliable" website is merely used to provide an English translation of it." For the record, the source is a report released by Huddinge Municipality, Sweden several years ago.
  • Roger accuses me of "edit warring" on this article (add: he has now changed this to "battleground editing", whatever that means - the term seems never to have been used on Wikipedia before). This is false. His five diffs give the false impression that I carried out five reversions. In fact, the diffs show that I carried out only two reversions in three days - that does not remotely constitute an edit war. The first of 9 October 2007 shows me reverting Template:User, a disruptive single purpose POV account who is listed under a separate FoF on this page. TaborG's edit summary is blatantly POV - "this source holds forgeries". The second of 08:52, 12 October 2007 shows me reverting Template:User, an indefinitely blocked single purpose POV account (see #Misou). His edit summary is equally POV.
  • Scientology and psychiatry. Again, Roger accuses me of "edit warring" and presents four diffs. As before, these show that I carried out only two reversions three days apart [277] [278] - not remotely an edit war. I agree that the source should not have been restored (and acknowledge that error), but to characterise this as "edit-warring" is simply false.
  • L. Ron Hubbard and the military. Fut. Perf. has already commented on this - "this is not "restoring self-published correspondence as a source"; it is a simple revert to a (better, or less bad) status quo ante of an edit that had made things worse in every respect: namely, pasted the contents of that very source into the article literally". I agree that the source should not have been in the article in the first place, but to be honest I probably didn't notice that - I would have been focused on reverting the copy-and-paste job by the previous editor. That was an inadvertent oversight on my part. My record shows that I have intervened to remove citations of my own material from articles when I have been aware of them.[279] -- ChrisO (talk) 22:56, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Re Roger's comment about blocking sockpuppets of Barbara Schwarz: The problem with your evidence - apart from the inaccuracies and misleading presentation, of course - is that it totally omits the context. This user created no fewer than 40 sockpuppets (see Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of The real Barbara Schwarz), several of which were disruptive impersonation accounts, as well as editing anonymously from a variety of open proxies. As you say, I blocked a number of them. What you don't say is that I was only one of no fewer than eight admins who were blocking socks in response to absolutely crystal-clear violations of policy that needed an immediate response: personal attacks, legal threats, vandalism, impersonation and most importantly the posting of personal information about other editors. Other blocking admins included User:Mr. Lefty [280], [281]; User:Antandrus [282]; User:Curps [283]; User:Glen [284], User:Riana [285]; User:John Reaves [286]; User:Kilo-Lima [287]; User:Academic Challenger [288]. My involvement in blocking some of these socks was briefly discussed on AN/I in March 2007 but was not the subject of any dispute. [289] I liaised with Fred Bauder, who was then an arbitrator, checkuser and oversighter, about the problematic edits [290]; he subsequently oversighted privacy-violating edits [291], [292]. You appear to be arguing technicalities here - there was no dispute among anyone, admins or arbitrators alike, that the blocks were necessary, reasonable and appropriate. Considering that my block of Barbara Schwarz was discussed with, reviewed and consented to by a serving arbitrator and other admins, I don't think it's reasonable to claim that I didn't take or violate the requirements for discussion and consensus that you cite.
  • Re Roger's further comment about edit-warring: you fail to note that I blocked myself for a 3RR violation [293], and two 3RR blocks in five and a half years of editing hardly fits the picture you're trying to paint of a hardened edit warrior. Plus it's irrelevant to this case anyway - you've not presented any evidence of edit-warring. I'll repeat what I've said above: two reversions over three days on two articles two years ago is not evidence of an edit war and is obviously not evidence of any continuing edit-warring. -- ChrisO (talk) 12:06, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
  • If we drag up here what ChrisO did four of five years ago, then we should do the same for Smee/Cirt. Otherwise it just feels like ChrisO is being made an example of. Or we just say, let bygones be bygones and concentrate on events since the last arbcom. Jayen466 00:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks for that observation, Jayen. I agree, naturally. I honestly cannot see what purpose it would serve to drag up old edits from years ago and pass punishments - let's call them what they are - on that basis. Since I've not even been involved in the disputes that led up to this arbitration and I've only edited a handful of articles in this topic area in the last year, there is no ongoing problem relating to my involvement in this area that needs to be corrected. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • It has been suggested that these old finding of facts be passed without accompanying remedies. That is, we would pass a finding like this, but not the sanction Roger proposed below. Cool Hand Luke 01:00, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • If you pass them all that would suggest that you endorse them all. I believe I've given some strong reasons why some should not be passed or endorsed. I've acknowledged error in a couple of instances. Might I suggest that rather than passing them as a package, which would lump the reasonable findings with the unreasonable and inaccurate, that you state which specific findings you are endorsing and, preferably, why? -- ChrisO (talk) 01:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I intend modifying the FOF to reflect some of your further comments (and in particular a reference to good faith) but the thrust here isn't that your BS sock blocks were per se bad but that they ought to have been performed by someone else, someone uninvolved. This FOF reflects the pattern of problems that arise when off- and on-wiki gets tangled up, and the line between editor and admin gets blurred. Simply put, you are/were way too involved in the topic to even consider using admin tools.  Roger Davies talk 01:48, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Except that I had no off-wiki involvement whatsoever with BS. My involvement with her article was limited to trying to clean it up and keeping a cap on the disruption. I believe I got involved with it in the first place not because it had anything to do with Scientology but simply because it had appeared on either BLP/N or AN/I. -- ChrisO (talk) 02:07, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment by others:
While I wouldn't necessarily defend every one of Chris' actions here, I note that Roger Davies is still operating with some highly dubious and ripped-out-of-context evidence, some of which has already been refuted. this is not "restoring self-published correspondence as a source"; it is a simple revert to a (better, or less bad) status quo ante of an edit that had made things worse in every respect: namely, pasted the contents of that very source into the article literally. The "self-published" material at [294] is clearly material authored by an independent, reliable source; the "unreliable" website is merely used to provide an English translation of it. Nothing wrong about that. – As for the B.Sch. usenet postings, reasonable people can disagree over whether such sources should be used; I am personally certainly glad the article as a whole is gone, but as long as it was there I can see that a reasonable editor, after responsibly gauging consensus in discussion, could reasonably be convinced he was acting correctly in using it; hence, no blame. – I also note that the times of the diffs certainly don't support a finding expressed in the present perfect ("has been heavily focused ... since ..."). ChrisO is certainly not "heavily focussed" on this topic now, and has hardly been as long as I've known him. Fut.Perf. 17:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hkhenson

16) Template:User self-identifies as Keith Henson, a prominent anti-cult activist, and writer.[295] In a manner suggestive of a conflict of interest, he has engaged in the promotion of his own position in his own biography[296]; promotion of his own projects in an associate's BLP[297]; promotion of a society of which he was a founder[298]; and, outside of the Scientology topic, has created and participated in articles promoting his own theories[299][300]; citation of his own works in articles, and edit-warring to keep the content in the article[301], [302], [303].

Comments by arbitrators
The attacks on this individual are disgraceful though it again raises the question whether maintaining an article on him is more trouble than it's worth. The attacks have been looked at thoroughly and many of the editors involved have been included in this case. If you wish to include others, please let me know. More generally, it is also worth asking whether it's in the best interests of the encyclopedia to have prominent critics openly editing in the area of their criticism, with off-wiki controversy spilling over on-Wiki. I think it's waving a red rag to a bull myself and will never help restore neutrality. Roger Davies talk 08:18, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
There has been very little editing by this user in a period of months, so I don't know that we need to wade into this morass at this time, again unless I am missing something. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:58, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties

I have never been a significant editor of Wikipeda articles about the subject of this arbitration. Also it has been more than a year since I edited a related article. (My edit was reverted within hours by another critic. [[304]])The only other edit I can find was more than a year and a half ago to reverted vandalism deletion by a person also mentioned under this subject. That restoration has remained in the article to this day.

In light of these self evident facts, why did Roger Davies added me as a party to his "findings." Perhaps he could elucidate.

For evidence (completely unrelated to the subject of this workshop) he states: "In a manner suggestive of a conflict of interest, he has engaged in the promotion of his own position in his own biography[305];

If you follow the link he supplied, in October of 2007 I replaced two requests for cites in my bio with links, not changing a word. Many people extensively edit their bios. This is not forbidden as far as I know. But I can't see where any of the "evidence" is related to the subject of this workshop.

I might have responded sooner but I was not notified for a week after being been added as a party. Also weeks can go by when I don't log in at all.

My email address, hkhenson@rogers.com, has been posted on my user page since April 2006.Keith Henson (talk) 00:02, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Comments by others
He's also be subject of vicious attacks on Wikipedia against his character, launched by sock puppet accounts. Whatever is decided, be sensitive that the man has a legitimate right to defend himself. Jehochman Talk 13:43, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, I don't see how any of the diffs cited above relates in any way to the topic of this arbitration? Is there any subliminal connection to Scientology in capture bonding or space elevators or whatever other weird topics those are about? Fut.Perf. 13:57, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the attacks on Keith Henson are more worthy of inspection than the very small amount of edits he's made mere. See also WP:BITE. Jehochman Talk 21:05, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose as utterly irrelevant to this case, poorly researched, with highly prejudicial interpretations of actions. I finally saw this today, from taking a look at Henson's Talk page, and I'm just as astounded as he is. Why is he part of this case? He wasn't involved in editing the Scientology article. He wasn't attacking pro-Scientology editors. Nothing he has done that I could see from the evidence cited above is remotely related, and his actions diff'd above would not normally trigger any COI sanctions or even objections, except one very brief incident of edit warring cited where Henson was, indeed, improperly enforcing prior editorial consensus, and lots of editors get blocked doing that with sequelae. Sure, he's a known anti-Scientology activist in the outside world, but he hasn't been one here. This came along on May 9, with no apparent warning; I'm concerned that so many editors were added as parties in April, but this one as an oversight by Roger Davies on his own initiative? This looks like a single Arbitrator acting as investigator and prosecutor, pursuing his own opinion not based on what normally precedes an ArbComm case, which involves a lot of community comment, opportunity for possible offenders to alter their behavior, etc. Here, there seems to be no support for this proposal, and yet, on the Proposed Decisions page, there it is, with, at this point, 10 arbitrators signing on. And then, as a remedy, he's topic banned from a topic he's not edited (I couldn't find one, but there may be something way back)? I'd have to guess that there is some private discussion that this is based on, because what can be seen publicly makes no sense at all. Color me dismayed and, in fact, discouraged. Disclosure: I knew Henson well, though I've had no communication with him for almost thirty years beyond a single phone call or email, I forget which, maybe twenty years ago. --Abd (talk) 02:40, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
It looks now like this is moot, but what I still wonder is that the concern about possible disruption around Hkhenson was expressed by adding him as a party and making weak accusations about COI editing, and then validating those with a proposed finding that passes. But dead horse and all that, and affirming that Hkhenson should not do what the editor already clearly understands he should not do is relatively harmless, especially compared to getting tossed in the clink, forced into bankruptcy, etc., and other real-life nightmares he has faced. I think Henson can handle it. --Abd (talk) 17:43, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Orsini

22) Template:User edited vigorously on a now-deleted BLP in order to include unpublished and disparaging content on the subject.[306][307][308], while claiming familiarity with the subject's writing style,[309] and arguing strenuously at AFD that the article should be kept. the article was later deleted as an attack page.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. This happened in February 2007. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:59, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Rick Alan Ross

23) Template:User who also edits as Template:User is apparently the owner of a website devoted to the study of "study destructive cults, controversial groups and movements",[310] and the subject of a biography of a living person, Rick Ross (consultant).

Comments by arbitrators
Looking at the discussion below, I see this needs some clarification. First, it would be good to establish that the two accounts actually are Mr Ross, simply because he's apparently one of many high-profile real life players embroiled in various on-wiki Scientology controversies. The next issue is how we can put oceans of clear blue water between the real life issues and Wikipedia because unless we do the problems will continue forever. It may well be than his presence, openly editing under his own name, is more trouble to us and him than it's worth and the solution may be to rename to something pseudonymous. I think the "outing" templates on BLPs ("An individual covered by or significantly related to this article has edited Wikipedia as ...") are a singularly bad idea on controversial topics.  Roger Davies talk 08:53, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
No edits in 5 months. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:02, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others
So what? In the absence of any finding of fact that his actual editing here was in any way inappropriate or disruptive, why would his identity be anybody's business? Fut.Perf. 14:12, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
That's an interesting philosophy, but it's tacitly rejected by several parties on this workshop who want COFS IP editors banned. The approach here is to get rid of all the potential POV pushers so that more neutral parties can edit these articles. Cool Hand Luke 05:56, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand the logic here. Surely everyone is a potential POV pusher? Surely what matters is whether there is actual evidence of POV-pushing or other abusive conduct? If you start sanctioning people for what they might do in the future, you're getting into a very Minority Report kind of situation. -- ChrisO (talk) 06:04, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
So if a new user edits from a COFS IP, he should not be banned until actual abusive conduct emerges? Cool Hand Luke 06:16, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Chalk and cheese again, Luke. Individual CoS IP editors may or may not have been abusive in various ways (POV-pushing, sockpuppetry etc). I don't doubt that some of them are innocent of any wrongdoing. The problem is as I stated in the workshop - shared corporate IP addresses obscure individual responsibilities for edits - "The use of shared corporate IP addresses to edit articles obscures the identity of individual editors, making it difficult to determine whether multiple accounts operating from the same corporate IP address are genuinely different people." There is no such issue with Template:User, and I'm not aware of any evidence being presented that indicates that he's edited abusively (please correct me if I'm wrong on this point). Restricting the use of CoS corporate IPs on accountability grounds is legitimate; sanctioning invididual editors for actual abusive conduct is legitimate; but I can't see any point in sanctioning someone because they are potential POV pushers. Aren't we all? -- ChrisO (talk) 06:29, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not actually sure what I think about these findings. COI is not a guideline we have the luxury of applying (and you might not realize, but I'm not fond of it). In effect, we punish disclosure whenever we invoke it. Therefore, I think we should only look at the merits of an editor rather than identity. For that reason, I doubt I would support a sanction for this user.
But if we somehow could know the identity of all editors, do you think a counter-cultist author would be more or less likely to push POV than anyone else? Would authorship by counter-cultist authors make the work seem more or less neutral? I don't think this is even a close call. Cool Hand Luke 06:41, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
So you would, for instance, support pre-emptively topic-banning Richard Dawkins from articles on religion or James Hanson from articles on climate change because they might not be neutral? I'm sorry, but that simply doesn't work. It assumes a fact not in evidence - that their off-wiki views would dictate how they would edit on Wikipedia. If someone does behave disruptively then fair enough, sanction them, but setting yourself up as the judge of what a person might do in the future is an extremely dangerous thing to do. It would be based entirely on your subjective belief, not on any verifiable evidence of wrongdoing. -- ChrisO (talk) 06:54, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Would a professional encyclopedia hire partisans to write articles that are supposed to be neutral? Even if they did a good job, wouldn't it tend to undermine the confidence readers might have about the articles' neutrality? In this very case, parties have suggested that the mere coverage of COFS IPs editing is an embarrassment to Wikipedia. It certainly would be to a professional work.
But this really is an academic question. We couldn't stop people even if we wanted to, and it's a very bad idea even to try. Cool Hand Luke 07:02, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a professional encyclopedia. We aspire to professional standards but we invite contributions from all parties ("the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", remember?). You can't say "a professional encyclopedia wouldn't do this" because we work in a completely different way to, say, Britannica. What matters is the quality of their contributions, not who they are. -- ChrisO (talk) 07:17, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Am I not making myself clear? I'm not sure what you're responding to here, but it's not me ("I think we should only look at the merits of an editor rather than identity.") To restate one last time: this point is academic and moot. It would be a bad idea to try to block people based on their identity, and it would be unsuccessful besides. Cool Hand Luke 07:33, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I certainly agree with you on that point (sorry if I was a bit slow grasping it). I just hope the other arbs see it the same way... -- ChrisO (talk) 07:35, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Shrampes

24) Template:User has edited primarily in Scientology-related articles[311] or in support of other Scientology single purpose accounts (examples: [312], [313]), sometimes from the same IP addresses[314]. This account is in all probability operated by the same puppetmaster as two other Scientology single purpose accounts, of Template:User and Template:User.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Steve Dufour

26) Template:User was a considerable contributor to Scientology articles, notably the now-deleted Barbara Schwarz attack page, but has since agreed informally not to edit within the topic.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Tilman

27) Template:User is apparently Tilman Hausherr, a Scientology-focused account.[315] This editor has engaged in edit-warring to include primary source material in a biography of a living person[316][317][318][319] at a time when he was actively exchanging insults with the BLP's subject on usenet;[320][321][322]; and continued to edit the biography after this apparent conflict was brought to user's attention.[323]

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. Very troublesome behavior, but again, am I missing something or was this more than two years ago? Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:05, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by parties
In response to Newyorkbrad's comments: User:Tilman's last Schwarz-related edit appears to have been on 28 July 2007 (nearly two years ago - [324]), and from his contributions his last Scientology-related edit was in June 2008 [325] - nearly a year ago. I can find no indication from his edits that he was in any way involved in the disputes that led to this arbitration. He was listed by User:Jayen466 on the evidence page as a "single-purpose account" but Roger has already rejected this claim.[326] -- ChrisO (talk) 23:45, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by others

The Legendary Shadow!

28) Template:User is a second account of sockmaster Template:User, topic-banned from Scientology-related articles and related talk pages[327]. In breach of the ban, this editor has made about twenty edits to this case [328].

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. I am not sure that editing the pages relating to an arbitration case, without more, constitutes a violation of a topic ban. An editor who has had problems in an area can still have relevant evidence to offer, to say nothing of the fact that he or she may be using the case to seek review or limitation of the ban. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:08, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Touretzky

29) Template:User is apparently David S. Touretzky, a notable critic of Scientology, and is focused on Scientology-related articles[329]. In a manner suggestive of a conflict of interest, this editor has contributed heavily to Applied Scholastics, where he is apparently also cited as a source, and has linked StudyTech.org, a website critical of Scientology which he apparently operates.[330][331]

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 07:42, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. Few if any relevant edits in 18 months. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:09, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by arbitrators
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Proposed remedies

Administrator conduct (administrators advised)

14) David Gerard and Phil Sandifer are advised to revisit and reflect on policy relating to administrator conduct.

Comments by arbitrators
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Antaeus Feldspar topic-banned

16) Template:User is topic-banned from Scientology for one year and advised to broaden their editing interests.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
  1. He already stopped editing in this area almost two years ago. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:11, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Abstain:
Comments by parties
In response to Newyorkbrad: In fact, this editor seems to have stopped editing altogether after 13 September 2008. I doubt he's even aware of this arbitration case. Like me, he certainly wasn't involved in any of the disputes that led to it. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:48, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by others
As I noted above, #Antaeus Feldspar, only about 11% of this user's mainspace edits were to Scientology-related articles. He has been neither a "single purpose editor" nor even a "primary pupose editor".   Will Beback  talk  20:27, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Over half (6/10 or 12/21) of his most edited articles are Scientology topics. And this ignores his large number of deleted contributions. His top three article talk contributions (all Scientology) outnumber the next seven.  Roger Davies talk

Anynobody topic-banned [Placeholder]

17) Template:User is topic-banned from Scientology indefinitely and restricted to one account.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

ChrisO topic-banned and advised [Placeholder]

18) User:ChrisO is indefinitely topic-banned from Scientology and advised to familiarise himself with policy relating to biographies of living people.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. If this winds up in the proposed decision I would want to see some more recent diffs or some response to ChrisO's points below. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:13, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Strongly oppose as grossly disproportionate and punitive. As I've stated above at #13.1 ChrisO (revised), the findings of fact against me are based on a selective, inaccurate and in some instances flawed set of assumptions, and a frequently misleading selection of diffs presented without any context. I have not edit-warred, I have not added my own writings as sources, and I have followed the letter of policy in relation to WP:CSD criteria and working with editors to achieve consensus per WP:CONSENSUS. I have not used my admin tools out of respect for the existing arbitration sanctions applied in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/COFS. I have not even edited much in this topic area over the last year, apart from routine reversions of vandalism of articles on my watchlist (e.g. [332], [333]). I have been able to find only four articles in this area which I've edited substantially in the last year - Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act, Engram (Dianetics), Military career of L. Ron Hubbard (was L. Ron Hubbard and the military, which I've been rewriting in response to concerns raised in this arbitration case - see User:ChrisO/Military career of L. Ron Hubbard for progress so far) and Super Power Building. None of them has been the subject of any significant dispute or controversy between myself and other editors - certainly no edit-warring or BLP violations. I'm not a party to any of the disputes that led to this case, and no editor or admin apart from Roger - who added me as a party four months into the case, without explanation - has even mentioned me in connection with the case. I'm not even mentioned in passing on the evidence page. There is simply no evidence at all that I've been involved in any ongoing problematic editing. The diffs cited by Roger are anything up to three years old, and only one of them relates to something that has happened in the last year the most recent one in his updated FoFs relates to a single edit 15 months ago. It's a well-established principle that we are permitted occasional mistakes and I acknowledge making a couple in this area, in the past. Remind me of WP:BLP by all means - I'll take heed of that. But a topic ban, based in part on things that happened up to three years ago, is punitive and utterly unjustified by any of the (very partial and faulty) findings of fact that have been proposed here. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:55, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Just for reference, ChrisO, the Cruise edit was mentioned on several talk pages in these proceedings, and your restoration of links to your self-published material were included in my evidence – as you must know, since I alerted you to that fact just a couple of days ago. On the other hand, I have some sympathy for your argument that a few of these incidents occurred rather a long time ago. I think it is quite normal that one goes through a maturation process after one's first edits – made in blissful ignorance even of the fact that Wikipedia has policies and guidelines, since no one is required to read them before they click "edit this page" for the first time, and not everyone is told of them even after that. This is a process that never stops; even as an overall culture, Wikipedia is evolving. Jayen466 00:13, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Actually no, I didn't notice those links when you posted them. I hadn't been following this case particularly closely until Roger had the bright idea of adding me as a party in April. Evidently I have you to thank for dragging me into this case. I note that you started posting diffs about my (very old) edits shortly after I had rebutted your misrepresentation of a book about Scientology.[334] This has the feel of retribution, particularly since I don't think we'd ever previously interacted before that discussion. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:57, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by others
Strong oppose - We do not sanction editors without warning. Why is this established editor being treated worse than the average single purpose POV pusher? Jehochman Talk 15:25, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hkhenson instructed

21) Hkhenson is instructed to contact the Arbitration Committee by email to establish his identity or to rename and is, in the meantime, topic-banned from Scientology.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. I have been in contact with this account for some time. I am quite convinced it is the real Keith Henson. Jehochman Talk 15:01, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties

If you want somebody who is not familiar with Wikipedia email addresses, you should put their email in the request. Mine is hkhenson@rogers.com and it has been public on Wikipedia for years. Keith Henson (talk) 23:58, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Comments by others

Orsini topic-banned

26) Orsini is indefinitely topic-banned from Scientology.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others


Rick Alan Ross instructed

27) User:Rick Alan Ross is requested to contact the Arbitration Committee by email to establish his identity or to rename and is, in the meantime, topic-banned from Scientology; he is restricted to one account only of his choosing, and the other account is indefinitely banned from Wikipedia.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
  1. I don't think COI can justify a topic ban; there's been no disruptive editing. Cool Hand Luke 07:48, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Shrampes topic-banned and restricted

28) Shrampes is topic-banned from Scientology indefinitely and restricted to one account.


Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Steve Dufour topic-ban replaced

30) The informal agreement reached with this editor is replaced by an indefinite topic-ban from Scientology.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Tilman topic-banned

31) Tilman is indefinitely topic-banned from Scientology.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

The Legendary Shadow! banned temporarily and topic-banned

32) Template:User is banned for one month, and thereafter topic-banned from Scientology indefinitely. This topic ban replaces the prior topic ban reached with Nishkid64. The editor is also restricted to a single account.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Touretzky topic-banned

33) Touretzky is indefinitely topic-banned from Scientology.

Comments by arbitrators
Support:
  1.  Roger Davies talk 08:08, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Oppose:
Abstain:
Comments by parties
Comments by others

Proposals by Cool Hand Luke

Proposed findings of fact

AndroidCat

Template:User is a Scientology-focused single purpose account,[335] who has edit warred with neutral parties to include original research in articles, and has edit warred and tag-team edited to reinstate WP:BLP violations.[336][337][338][339]

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Comment by AndroidCat:
  • 4 years of editing one of the the most contentious, polarized and heated topics on Wikipedia.
    • Current Score: 0 warnings, 0 blocks.
  • Crotalus horridus and edit warring
    • Cool Hand Luke and Crotalus horridus call it WP:SYNTH and WP:OR, but ignore that almost no one else did. The WP:NOR/Noticeboard came to no such decision (some there were of the opinion that at least part of the disputed text should be allowable. For: Jack-A-Roe, Will Beback; Against: Jayjg) and eventually passed it back to the article Talk page. I made a Good-faith attempt to try to find an accommodation because I didn't believe that all of it was WP:SYNTH, WP:OR, or "investigative reporting". I am curious about to Crotalus horridus singling out that bit only since the rest is so poor that one editor (Blueboar) on the board said he would later nominate it for AfD if there was no improvement.
    • Also, if Crotalus horridus is a neutral editor, why was there an obvious sweep through Scientology related articles starting on 12-8-2008? (Is that a POINT attempt to shift the very benchmark of non-notability? Something's up there. ;)
  • BLP in David Miscaviage article
  • Tag-Team edit
    • I don't use any real time communications with other editors, and respond slowly and sporadically even to email.
    • I prefer not to communicate with other editors via hidden off-Wiki channels precisely to avoid being seen as a member of a team.
    • If there was a team, it would have been a lot better coordinated, and we would have had uniforms and a strategy playbook.
  • Reference improvement project
    • It was obvious that the articles suffered massively from a large number of extremely poor references: non-RS personal opinion pages, copyvio "convenience copies" of news articles on POV sites, primary sources, or especially no sources at all.
    • Not only was this bad for the quality of the articles, they were flashpoints for conflict, which would only get worse with the growing strictness of applying WP:RS.
    • In 2007, while digging up enough references to clean up and fix the Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network article (Successfully), I noticed that there were a growing number of news articles available at free access newspaper archive sites, however most of these didn't show up in Google searches, but only in a search at the archive. Meanwhile, Google searches on any Scientology-related topic usually returned with the first few pages of results full of the same poor non-RS, copyvio references already in use.
    • I decided to gather all available news stories with links to newspaper sites. I started with the ones already in use in Wikipedia articles, added some from Google searches, and archive searches directly at a number of newspaper sites. (TIME Magazine, New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, St. Petersburg Times, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Denver WestWord, Los Angeles Times...)
    • Once I had the links, I extracted the information from the stories needed to fill Wikipedia cite templates: title, author, publishing date, publisher, etc, as well as a short summary, if the article was an opinion or editorial piece and various keyword tags to help find articles. (The last is ongoing.) There are currently 18 secondary copy links in the list, of various types (not all copyvio), but those are clearly tagged.
    • I have made this list available to all editors in flat HTML, TiddlyWiki format with copy/paste cite templates (works best in FF3 on a good machine), and raw DB format on request. The list currently has 1978 articles, with a few hundred in the backlog.
    • From this list, I have replaced a number of "convenience copies" throughout the articles with links to the actual stories, added quite of number of cites, supplied lists of cites for problem articles which needed references (usually to the Talk page to reduce disruption and messy reading lists). For example RTC Cult Awareness Network, no time to dig up others...
    • I have no usage tracking, so I don't know how many other editors are using it or how often. As one side effect, many news articles have been raised in Google rank (even from archives not otherwise listed in Google), making it more likely that the article will be found before the "convenience copies". (Yes, there are still a number of these "convenience copies" of news articles, and they do tend to creep back in. *shrug* Note: there is publication permission for most of the books.)
    • I doubt I can take credit for the period of relative peace until the end of last year, but I do think that the availability of RS references has made it easier to remove dubious cites without a fight over it and less likely for fights over IDONTLIKEIT attempts to remove solid references.
    • I'm sure the complaint will be made that the list is biased towards critical articles, and that may be valid—however, if this is true, it is not my bias, but an inherent bias of the available news stories—I've gathered what I could.
    • As time permits, I've also been attempting to gather academic articles for addition to broaden the views represented.
  • Notable critics
    • Cool Hand Luke has said that he received several emails about off-Wiki activity by myself and others, but has said nothing about the contents. (Perhaps in some secret channel?) He has also darkly alluded to a list of hidden notable critics editing on Wikipedia, but while few names have been named, I feel I should address this tarring with broad brushstrokes.
      • I do not run a critical web site.
      • I have been involved in no legal actions involving Scientology.
      • I do post (as AndroidCat) to alt.religion.scientology, as have a number of editors, pro and critical. It is a Usenet newsgroup (an Alt group, technically), it is not an "Internet organization". There is no membership, no central committee, no approval of joining. As Usenet continues to fade away, I don't think anyone would describe it as important or influential in any way.
      • I have used the same user name to edit on Wikipedia for 4 years for candor, transparency, and honesty about that.
      • I don't consider myself a notable critic, or a WP:NOTABLE one either.
      • I have not contributed or posted to Operation Clambake, am not a career anti-Scientologist, and never got the t-shirt.
Comment by others:
  • Edit warred with neutral parties: Crotalus horridus might be neutral on the topic of Scientology, but hardly on his/her own views (acquiring 4 blocks, mainly for 3RR), nor was I simply restoring the same material. I trimmed to see if a compromise could be reached, down to what I felt was the "sky is blue, water is wet" level. Calling it "investigative reporting" is hyperbole, especially on an article which has few or marginal reliable sources, and is only notable for being cited elsewhere.
  • Tag-team edited to reinstate WP:BLP violations: That's rather strong. I suggest everyone review those edits carefully, including my reasons and the time-frame relative to the strengthening of BLP since the beginning of 2007.
[340] Khanagan didn't realize that under the old copyright rules, copyright could lapse prior to death of the author.
[341] Claimed and reportedly are WP:WTA violations.
[342] Change of a link to a non-personal site.
[343] In the mish-mash going on, one editor restored an old version of the link without the full reference cite to the document, which I restored.
[344] context This was a properly cited, verifiable document of testimony by David Miscavige's direct subordinate. After clarification, the consensus was reached that it was a primary source that couldn't be used without a backing secondary source. That was later, however.
This seems to be pretty vague stuff, almost a grab-bag of fog. Let me know when there's anything tangible. AndroidCat (talk) 01:06, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to argue law with you, but before the 1976 copyright act, unpublished works were protected by state law and typically were protected indefinitely. This would turn on a question about whether the works were published or not, and the imputation of fraud on the Copyright Office based on a affidavit by an ex-Scientologist hosted by a Scientology attack site cannot pass BLP—you reverted it so that the claim isn't even stated as "Jesse Prince swore," it's a flat statement of fact.[345] It's a clear violation.
These are SYN and BLP violations, as has been previously shown. I'm not impressed that you're still arguing with them. Cool Hand Luke 17:52, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm mutually unimpressed. Your language in referring to FACTNet as "a Scientology attack site" is strongly biased. Moreover, a number of published Hubbard works such as the Manual of Justice were found to have lapsed copyrights in court. Your "law arguments" concentrating on unpublished works (which this is not about) seem to be contrived fluff, sorry. The change says "according to former Scientologist Jesse Prince", so your claim that I changed it to a "a flat statement of fact" is so badly wrong that I think your qualify of faith is an issue here. Also, please explain why a WTA correction in [120] was listed? AndroidCat (talk) 05:22, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Flat statement of fact. I used the diff already: [346] The string "according to...Prince" does not occur in this article as you edited it here. What is my qualify of faith? Cool Hand Luke 05:13, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
You removed the link above to [347], which had the reference after I'd dug up the details of the court case and changed the link to a non-personal site. I take it that one is no longer an issue. If so, is this revert of an addition of Words To Avoid also resolved? AndroidCat (talk) 11:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
BLP is a non-negotiable site policy. Editors don't get a free pass to add BLP violations by correcting other language. You reverted two separate sets of edits. Cool Hand Luke 17:33, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and with hindsight, a mistake, two years ago. AndroidCat (talk) 06:28, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
By the way, why are you wasting my time when you haven't even added me as a party to the ArbCom yet? Unless the rules have changed drastically in the last year, an ArbCom can only rule on specific parties to the ArbCom or make general non-specific rulings such as putting all the Scientology articles on probation. AndroidCat (talk) 07:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
For information, I've just updated the list of involved parties in the case.[348] I'll ask the clerks to send the notifications shortly.  Roger Davies talk 10:19, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
For my enlightenment, could you point me to the guidelines where one admin can suddenly add some 32 parties without a vote several months into a RFAR? AndroidCat (talk) 04:00, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Notes for later use

DM = Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Scientology/Evidence#NEW_EVIDENCE_BY_JAYEN466, David Miscavige section

Analysis of evidence

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General discussion

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A general comment on the case roots and such....I agree with several commentors above that the root of the case is in a couple of areas 1) poor sourcing and original research problems in many many articles, 2) failure to assume good faith in disputes (everyone), and 3) conflict of interest editing. These three items all have solutions that have worked to varying degrees in other disputes in the past. The OR problem is both the easiest and hardest, easy because it can be just removal of items with poor or no sourcing; hard because to fix the articles will require research of the good sources that seem to exsist. I recommend to all participants here, go fix some sourcing on Scientology articles rather than blather here about each others failings. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 21:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Jayen is doing a great job doing exactly that. I also agree that this hole arbitration is a waste of time. I really don't care much about the editors from the CoS and probably Cirt should just be another editor with no special powers.Bravehartbear (talk) 02:00, 29 December 2008 (UTC)


Request for new evidence

Further evidence of disruptive behaviour would be very welcome, preferably focusing on editors not already mentioned in the Findings of Fact. In particular, evidence is sought of: interference in biographies of living people; slow edit-warring; incivility, sources; POV-pushing; and tag-teaming. The evidence does not need to be limited to editors already mentioned in this case. For ease of reference, best is if:

  1. the new evidence is posted here (/Evidence), clearly headed "New evidence by {user}"
  2. is concise and factual, with few words and many clear diffs.

As mentioned above, it is unnecessary to supply new evidence for people already mentioned in the findings of fact, unless it is particularly clear and compelling.

— Roger Davies talk 18:51, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Comments by others
This request has an extremely bad taste to it. It sounds like you have made up your mind you'd like to sanction a few people more, but now realise you haven't got enough of a case against them? Fut.Perf. 20:04, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I guess that would be one interpretation. The other might be that this case was at least initially supposed to be about the misbehavior of editors regarding the subject, and that comparatively little evidence or discussion about any but a select few editors has yet taken place. This has more or less focused on Cirt, Jossi, Anynobody, the COSI editors, and maybe a few others, but there have been a lot of editors involved in the subject, and it would probably be a pain to the Arbs to have someone come back in a month or so and say, "Oh, yeah, we forgot about (X). Can be block/ban/execute/whatever him now?" John Carter (talk) 20:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
A massive tranche of editors was added, including myself, at the start of April. I have to admit I was surprised that I was included, since my own editing in this field has been light for the last year (I've found only four related articles that I've made any substantial edits to during that period). I don't know why it was decided to rope in so many people at such a late stage - four months into the arbitration - and I'd be curious to know why this decision was made. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:19, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
And, as I've asked Roger elsewhere already, given the obvious poor quality of the evidence that finally ended up in some of the new FoF's, one really wants to know who collected it, and how. Was evidence submitted to the committee privately in response to this request, and then not vetted for accuracy appropriately? Fut.Perf. 20:22, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I think Jayen466 has some questions to answer, given his latest contributions to this page. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:09, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I'll gladly answer them if you ask them. As you know, my e-mail is enabled. I'll also happily answer them here, if you prefer. Jayen466 21:27, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  1. From Wikipedia:Verifiability#cite_note-4.