Wikinews:Requests for arbitration/Users Cartman02au et al v Mrmiscellanious

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Case Opened on 00:00, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Case Closed on 23:26, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


Please do not edit this page directly unless you wish to become a participant in this request. (All participants are subject to Arbitration Committee decisions, and the ArbCom will consider each participant's role in the dispute.) Comments are very welcome on the Talk page, and will be read, in full. Evidence, no matter who can provide it, is very welcome at /Evidence. Evidence is more useful than comments.

Arbitrators will be working on evidence and suggesting proposed decisions at /Workshop and voting on proposed decisions at /Proposed decision.

Involved parties[edit]

Mrmiscellanious has been involved in disputes with a number of parties which range from harrasment, non-collaborative edits, interjection of POV and utilising his administrator rights in an attempt to prevail in edit conflicts.

Other dispute resolution steps[edit]

Members of the community posted their issues with MrM on a dispute resolution page (Wikinews:Dispute resolution/Users Borofkin, Mrmiscellanious, and others). I notified MrM that I had listed myself and my issues on that page seven days ago, yet he has ignored it. It could be seen that MrM has no intention of resolving the issues in that manner.

Statement by User:Cartman02au[edit]

In my experience on Wikinews, MrM does not edit collaboratively with others. He will edit controversial articles to the dissatisfaction of other contributitors and then refuses to discuss his changes on the talk page for the article. If changes are made, the article will be tagged, with no further discussion on MrM's part in an attempt to delay publication.

MrM also interjects his own POV into otherwise neutral articles.

MrM's authoritarian administration style is also beginning to get a little over the top. He routinely insults other users and tells them to leave the site. This is not what Wikinews is for and this can only serve to disrupt the site. Our sister project Wikipedia has a policy on harrassment which shows this type of behaviour is not to be tolerated.

Despite hiding behind policy where possible, MrM does not appear to understand or follow policy.

Statement by User:Mrmiscellanious[edit]

  • I do not, and never will, respond to personal attacks. Furthermore, I do not participate in dispute resolutions where users have disregarded the required steps before enacting on actions. I will not release any more statements on this issue. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 21:54, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Please also note that I will refuse any "remedies" from the Arbitration Committee on this, since I do not recognize it as a governing item of Wikinews, but only to be used as suggestions, or guidelines. There has not been policy statements that are concerning the Arbcom, and there are no policies regarding the disregarding of Arbcom decisions. Therefore, I advise you not to waste your time. I will not listen to, nor will I conform to, what the Arbcom decides - it is not an official policy. I do not wish to follow it. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 00:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Statement by User:Borofkin[edit]

I'm sorry about this, but I have to declare that I don't support this RfA. The point of this whole process was to try to collaborate with Mrmiscellanious, away from the heat of article talk pages, to prevent conflict If he doesn't want to participate then I see no point in continuing, we should just do our best to avoid future conflicts. Mrmiscellanious, I urge you to reconsider your statement, and at least give us something. Has there been nothing written on the dispute resolution page in the past ten days that you consider worthy of a response? - Borofkin 04:11, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Statement by User:Neutralizer[edit]

These 26 minutes of quite recent edits are just one example of MrM's typical behavior;[1][2]

  • A new contributor was yelled at by MrM in the article edit summaries;
  • then MrM accused him of being my sockpuppet on the new user's talk page with no proof at all;
  • then MrM blocked him for a non-existant 3RR;
  • 22:58, 1 March 2006 Mrmiscellanious blocked "65.1.149.41 (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 day (Violation of 3RR; IP address used by Neutralizer)
  • the block MrM so quickly applied was in relation to the same article MrM was aggressively editing and,therefore, was contrary toWhen blocking may not be used.
  • Then even after BrianMc proved the anon was definitely NOT my sockpuppet (being located 1,000+ miles away from me), and told MrM that, MrM did not offer any apology at all to the new user.

Is it any wonder the new user came to this point? "I am finished here fully and absolutely". This is typical of MrM's rude behaviour and abuse of administrative privilege and the subsequent damage to this project.

  • These edit comments by Mrmiscellanious directed toward the new user in the incident above are also typical of how he drives new users away; "THIS IS THE LAST TIME I AM REVERTING THIS. KEEP THIS TAG UP, THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE THAT STATES WHAT THE TITLE STATES."and this;(cur) (last) 22:32, 1 March 2006 Mrmiscellanious (Not my job to look at sources.)

Accusing contributors of vandalism when they are making good faith edits [3]

One incident of vandalism accusation was MrM's defence of a 3RR block.

Harrassment,rudeness,bullying,combative

"Harassment is defined as a pattern of disruptive behavior that appears to a reasonable and objective observer to have the purpose of causing negative emotions in a targeted person or persons, usually (but not always) for the purpose of intimidating the primary target. The purpose could be to make editing Wikipedia unpleasant for the target, to undermine them, to frighten them, or to encourage them to stop editing entirely."

The user is frequently accused of editing in a rude, obnoxious, aggressive, and bullying way. Below are some examples of edits that could be considered bullying and also harassment; especially common is the "encourage them to stop editing entirely" type of harassment.

[4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]


  • In summary, MrM makes the experience of wikinews much more combative and annoying than it should be,imo. He uses personal attacks,harassment,threats of blocking,page protections[13]and actual blockings to force articles to the tone and/or content that he wants.
  • Most important of all, MrM is an administrator who has not had the trust of this community for quite some time. His last RfDa had a majority opinion in favour of removal of his adminship[14].


Statement by --elliot_k 04:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)[edit]

I'm currently in a conflict with Mrmiscellanious. See: Talk:Demonstrators_protest_Condoleezza_Rice's_trip_to_Australia.

Firstly I need to point out very clearly that I DO respect Mrmiscellanious' vigilant efforts to maintain a NPOV. That is to be applauded. It is the foundation of the Wikimedia project.

However, I feel his method of engagement is disrespectful and offensive. Mrmiscellanious uses an Ad Hominem argument to force his points. Mrmiscellanious accuses me of "Laziness" because I maintain that NPOV is difficult to achieve at times - especially when reporting on protests and demonstrations. Having contributed over 100 articles myself, all which manage to maintain NPOV, I find this a false and offensive statement.

As indicated on the Talks page of the story mentioned above, and on his and my Talks page, I have found his behaviour hostile, rude and arrogant. There have been other instances where I have felt bullied by Mrmiscellanious. There is much evidence that he consistently uses combative behaviour on articles he disputes.

His language is frequently undiplomatic. By his documented misuse of Wikinews Policy, he seems to me, to antagonise and abuse the wikinews system intentionally in an effort to push a certain POV. I find him to be disruptive, confrontational, aggressive.

Mrmiscellanious refuses to engage in meaningful discussion. He refuses to listen and respond adequetely, politely to my, and other wikinewsfolks attempts to actively talk things through. There is no compromise with this bloke. He refuses to discuss or address the ideas put to him - despite he being the agitator through his actions. Its a shame. And not conducive to a productive community.

A developing consensus community like ours needs ongoing, open and transparent discussion in order to work; in order to clearly represent all people's POVs. We are all valid here in this community. We should not and cannot abuse or attack each other if this community is to develop and succeed.

Whilst discussion and NPOV are paramount, it is unfortunate that hostile behaviour, such as displayed by Mrmiscellanious, draws vital energy and commitment away from the contribution of fresh and meaningful Wikinews articles.

Suffice to say, I am becoming increasingly frustrated here. I don't mind discussing the issue of POV disutes, I enjoy it. The open sharing of ideas and skills is fundamental to this participatory media community. I work hard to achieve NPOV - particularly the articles I contribute relating to Protest, Politics and Conflicts etc. It's a challenge. A good one. And I respect other people's efforts to keep articles in check.

However, at present I am finding WN less than productive and more a shitfight. Perhaps it is me that does not belong. I hope not - because I do have faith in this space. --elliot_k 04:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)


Statement by User:Vonbergm[edit]

I have had several run-ins with MrM and take issue with some of MrM's behaviour in these situations that I consider damaging to Wikinews. I also have increasing difficulty assuming good faith on some edits of MrM and found myself getting increasingly agressive in responding to (preceived) disruptive behaviour of MrM. I have challenged MrM on many of the points outlined below before (e.g. [15], [16], [17]) without ever coming to any agreement. My invitation to alleviate these concerns in WN:DR were rejected. Although MrM has already preemtively rejected the validity of all findings of Arbcom, I believe that it is necessary for Wikinews that this issue be resolved, through Arbcom if necessary, to establish clear guidelines on policy and its interpretations.

My concerns with MrM hinge on three issues outlined below in more detail. First, he makes "bold" edits on contrivercial articles with poor understanding of the issues the articles deal with and without sufficiently participating on talk pages. This behaviour can only be described as agressive editing. Second, his application and interpretation of policy and article guidelines varies strongly with the nature of the article, ranging from baseless POV accusations on one extreme to active POV-pushing on his part on the other. This POV-based interpretation of policy is extremely disruptive to the wiki.

Agressive edits based on misinformation Being bold and making agressive edits can help avoid lengthy discussions or cuts them short by moving the article forward. When made in good faith, bold edits are sometimes the only way to come to a reasonable compromise in a timely fashion. For this to work it is necessary that the edits are informed. If they are not, then the edit in question is simply disruptive.

Misinformed edits happen. It is safe to assume that every regular contributer has made an edit that was not supported by facts. We are only amateur journalists with limited time and resources and, given how a wiki works, the ramifications of such edits are relatively minor. Usually the error is caught and corrected, and people get seldomely hung up on this.

Taken by themselves, these two editing scenarios are harmless or even useful. Taken together, they are extremely harmful to the project. Agressively insisting on false information makes it next to impossible (for me at least) to assume good faith. Some examples

  • [18] (Note edit summary: "Remove image, does not enhance article, messes with layout, is not even a "new" photo, AFAICT." and subsequent comment on talk page: [19])
Exceptionally agressive edit. The question of whether or not the picture should be included was ongoing on the talk page. Despite this MrM seems comfortable to make a "bold" edit, altough he only has weak reasons ("not enhance", "layout", picture takes up "bandwidth") and throws in the uninformed statement (easily contradicted by the sources) that the picture is not "new". The "AFAICT" in the edit summary and the "I believe" in the comments on the talk page indicate that he himself is not very sure on this, putting further questions why he would make such an agressive edit based on so little information.
  • This block of edits [20] ignored concerns raised on the talk page and changed the character of the story in a way not founded in the sources. In particular, moving a key paragraph sceptical of some information to the bottom and inserting the word "earlier" is a deliberate attempt to go against the information in the sources (which imply the opposite temporal relationship) to push a POV. At the time I did not feel like imitating MrM's agressive editing behaviour and simply complained about this on the talk pages [21]. The article remains with information that is contradicting the sources.
  • Changed the title 4 times ([22], [23], [24], [25]) in less than a day (to exactly the same title!) while refusing to take part in discussions about the title [26] for a good portion of the time. The fact that the title he proposed "Report: Bush authorized NSA surveillance of international conversations" misses the main point (that US citisens are targeted while they are in the US) makes this quite concerning. His insistence on the "Report:" exemplifies his obsession to relativise statements challenging his POV. (Other examples to this point below. In this case the information was verified independently by two sources cited in the article early on.)
  • Changed title 3 times ([27], [28], [29]) to same title "Spain issues arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers accused of killing two journalists in 2003", adding the "accused of"-phrase. This is are his only edits of the article. He makes one edit [30] to the talk page explaining his reasons for insisiting on the "accused of" formulation despite the fact no parties question that the soldiers killed the journalists and ignores the further discussion. He prevails with his unilateral approach of repeatadly changing the title and ignoring discussions on the talk page. A good example of the type of behaviour that practically forces escalation if other people are not willing to simply give up their oncerns.

Disruptive behaviour / POV pushing If MrM's behaviour would be consistent in his actions independent of the political flavour of an article, one could argue that MrM's is merely trying to enforce cite policy. In many cases MrM does point out problems with articles and helps improve the wiki. This explanation breaks down when one is confronted with MrM's double standarts. These large discrepancies in his behaviour force the interpretation that much of his agressive editing practices are driven by his POV. I want to add to the examples given above.

Some of these discrepancies are so big that MrM's statements reach into the grotesque. For example he has been an animate advocate on the question on "reliable sources". He has insisted that sources like LA Times, Washington Post or NY Times are not "credible" ([31], [32]) and made clear he will only accept on "government documents" as sources (when the reporting is critical of the government). While this insistance in itself is already absurd (especially applied in this particular instance, see this [33] for the discussion on the talk page), it appears malicious when compared his defense [34] of a (right-wing) blog [35] as a "credible" source.

More (although less clear-cut) evidence for POV-pushing can be found when it comes to disparate use of language. For certain kind of news he insists on inserting words like "alledged" or the like to relativise the validity of statement that is "unverified". While it is important to correctly attribute information, he pushes this point ad absurdum in certain instances [36], while he completely ignores this point in other instances [37] (note the missing "alleged" before "target", despite lengthy discussions pointing out that there was not even reliable information what entity fired the missile, let alone what the target was).

I have not been directly effected by some of the problems of MrM's dealings with policy, but have witnessed some of them as they developed on the talk pages of articles I was involved in. Thus I do not want to discuss these in detail but just point out three mayor issues that disturb me regarding this. The first is the disparate application of policy, employing aberrant interpretations of policy when convenient [38], and neglecting policy in other cases [39], which makes it difficult not to suspect that a siginificant portion of his motivation to enforce policy is derived from POV and personal grudges. The second point is MrM's inability to recognize his own mistakes as exemplified here [40] . I firmly believe that the open recognition of ones mistakes and taking responsibility for them is a prerequisite for improvement (at least when this statement is interpreted in a culture-sensitive way). The third is the "John Wayne Syndrome" exhibited here [41] where it becomes evident that MrM sees himself as the lone guardian of the wiki, the last fortress, and if he faulters the whole wiki will slide into chaos. This is an extremely harmful attitude (and very un-wiki) and needs to be straightened out.

Goal The above is not trying to be a "fair" evaluation of MrM's behaviour. I have focused entirely on my interaction with MrM. The articles that I participated in are focused quite narrowly on issues that can be labeled as "controvercial" and thus have a greater potential for conflict than average articles. Moreover, this is not a fair representation of MrM's behaviour on these particular selection of articles either. I have witnessed numerous cases where MrM has pointed out problems in articles that I had previously overlooked and where he helped improve the quality of an article in a constructive fashion. I have seen examples where he has made changes to his own edits when problems were pointed out to him. There is no doubt that he has made valuable contributions to this wiki.

At this point my hope that MrM can understand what parts of his behaviour are harmeful to this wiki and that he can improve his behaviour to avoid the problems outlined above, are minimal. During the last weeks, with this conflict moving through various stages, MrM has managed to further alianate contributers and lengthen the list of "involved parties".

To me, the most important outcome of this Arbcom request is to get a fix on accepted policy and its interpretation, so that I can use this as basis for my future involvement in wikinews. I am open to any suggestions and guidelines on how I can modify my behaviour to further these goals.

Statement by User:International[edit]

Im going to make a statement tonight but it wont include much more than already been said here. I see that Mrm changed his mind and make contributions in the workshop page wich is good. International 12:14, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Sadly I find that I dont have time to contribute until next week and posibly in very little extent. Statment here and on 'subsides' is very timeconsuming to make for me as it demand a very correct language to avoid damaging missunderstandings. On the good side I see that my contributions wouldnt contain anything revolutionary new than already said in other statement and evidencepresentations. Therfore I withdraw my participation in this arbitration wihtout any lack of faith that it will recomend solution to Mrm:s behavour that is good for Wikinews. I strongly support this process and the complains directed against Mrm. International 23:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Recuse Request Statement[edit]

"The Arbitrator in question will seriously consider it and make a response."

In addition, the policy refers to the possibility of an arbitrator being "required" to recuse themselves for non-trivial conflicts. These are non-trivial bias indicators, therefore I respectfully request all arbitrators to consider whether CSpurrier should be recused.
In keeping within our policy's recusal process, CSpurrier should respond right away so that if he refuses to recuse himself the other arbitrators will have time to evaluate whether he should be required to recuse himself. This issue must be dealt with prior to any Arbcom activity on this arbitration; which is why I eagerly await CSpurrier's response.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

I request that CSpurrier recuse himself from this arbitration because of the appearance of substantial bias in favour of MrM and also against me(both independently and simultaneously) as follows;

  • This comment at one of the RfDas(link below) indicates that CSpurrier harbours a preconceived justification for MrM's behavior and sees others as "attack"ing MrM; This stated opinion is prima facia evidence that CSpurrier must recuse himself as he already has a prejudicial view of the validity of what he categorizes as "attacks on MrM".

:"... I believe the primary reason for this RfDA and the other attacks on MrM are not his actions on the site but that he holds an unpopular and somewhat odd :) political view --Cspurrier 23:45, 8 December 2005 (UTC)"

  • 22:30, 25 November 2005 Cspurrier blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 month ( Trolling, editing other users comments, constant disruption, violating agreements to avoid things, putting another nonsense RfDA on MrM)
  • 04:59, 6 November 2005 Cspurrier blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 6 months (Full reasons on Water cooler. - The original block was a reasonable, if we want to shorten it it should be done with more discussion first)
  • CSpurrier has continually supported MrM at RFdAs as shown here;

[42][43][44]

  • CSpurrier has shown simultaneous bias against me and toward MrM when MrM and I have been in conflict; e.g., on this occasion by stepping in to block me with a completely unwarranted block, thereby salvaging/supporting the same unwarranted block by MrM which numerous other admins had removed;

03:55, 14 February 2006 Cspurrier blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 12 hours (disruption on Pennsylvania man named in alleged terror plot repeat nonactionable npov tags is disruption, however in is somewhat minor so it should get a somewhat minor block, unblock because of the the bloker is nonsensical if you disagree with the b) 03:52, 14 February 2006 Cspurrier unblocked Neutralizer (contribs) (unblock to reblock)03:43, 14 February 2006 Mrmiscellanious blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (Reply to Borofkin: that's no reason for an unblock. The block falls under disruption, which has been given reasoning. Unblocking does not, as of current, have any reasoning to it. This account is reblocked on violation of the disruption section of [[WN)

03:41, 14 February 2006 Borofkin unblocked Neutralizer (contribs) (Unblocking for reasons already given. Also, If tagging an article a few times results in a block half the site would be blocked) 03:36, 14 February 2006 Mrmiscellanious blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (Blocking policy states disruption, disruption has been defined in previous block of the individual in the block log.) 03:27, 14 February 2006 Amgine unblocked Neutralizer (contribs) (Does not appear to have a basis in policy.) 03:03, 14 February 2006 Mrmiscellanious blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (Unfortunately, this block is defined in policy. There is no reason why it should be reverted.) 02:59, 14 February 2006 Nyarlathotep unblocked Neutralizer (contribs) (MrM, you can't block him for actions on an article your so editorially involved in, get someone else to do it for you.)


02:38, 14 February 2006 Mrmiscellanious blocked "Neutralizer (contribs)" with an expiry time of 1 week (Disruption; repeated flagging of article, delaying publishing of article without reasoning or specific examples, user warned that pattern is prohibited under WN:BP. Article in question is Pennsylvania man named in alleged terror plot.

Recuse request made by Neutralizer 01:25, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter[edit]

  • Accept Request --Chiacomo (talk) 02:48, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept request. I will also participate in the finding of the committee (if it comes to that) after realizing that I was not alone among ArbCom members who previously voted on MrM de-admin requests. -Edbrown05 04:38, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept request. -- IlyaHaykinson 13:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Accept Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 22:33, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

All numbering based on /Proposed decision (vote counts and comments are there as well)

Principles[edit]

Civility and personal attacks[edit]

1) Insulting and intimidating other users harms the community by creating a hostile environment. All users are instructed to refrain from this activity. Admins are instructed to use good judgement while enforcing this policy. All users are encouraged to remove personal attacks on sight.
2) The Wiki software and Wikinews policy anticipates that disputes may arise regarding the wording and content of Wikinews articles. When disputes arise, editors are expected to engage in discussion with other users and suggest reasonable compromises with regard to article wording, content and research to support Wikinews articles.
(Adopted 6/0/0/0)

Consensus building and compromise[edit]

1) As put forward in Wikinews:Dispute resolution Wikinews works by building consensus. This is done through the use of polite discussion, in an attempt to develop a consensus regarding proper application of Wikinews:Policies and guidelines such as Wikinews:Neutral point of view.
2) In cases where compromise cannot be reached, users are expected to follow the Dispute resolution process.
(Adopted 4/0/2/0)

Personal attacks are prohibited[edit]

1) Personal attacks damage the community and deter users, see Wikinews:Etiquette.
2) Making personal attacks on other users is not permitted.
3) Wikinews editors avoid responding in kind when personally attacked.
(Adopted 6/0/0/0)

Provocation[edit]

1) When user is having trouble due to editing conflicts or a dispute with another user, it is inappropriate to provoke them, as it is predictable that the situation will escalate. Provocation of a new or inexperienced user by an experienced and sophisticated user is especially inappropriate.
(Adopted 5/1/0/0)

Administrators[edit]

1) Wikinews Administrators are expected to be ambassadors of and to the community and its editors.
(Adopted 3/1/1/1)

Findings of Fact[edit]

Personal attacks by Mrmiscellanious[edit]

1) Mrmiscellanious has made numerous personal attacks including calling users "babies", stating that are are "not fit" for Wikinews, users to "get the hell out of here", accusing users of being "lazy", and other attacks.
(Adopted 5/0/0/1)

Personal attacks by other users[edit]

1) Other involved users have also engaged in personal attacks
(Adopted 5/0/1/0)

Mrmiscellanious has failed to collaborate[edit]

1) Mrmiscellanious has failed at times to adequately collaborate and communicate during article creation -- thereby sidestepping the consensus building process essential to the community.
(Adopted 3/0/1/2)

Remedies[edit]

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.

Mrmiscellanious shall be subject to re-confirmation as administrator[edit]

1) Mrmiscellanious shall be subject to re-confirmation as an administrator by the community. This Request for Adminship shall begin 14 days after the close of this arbitration and proceed as normal with a 7 day duration. Mrmiscellanious shall remain an administrator following the close of this arbitration unless consensus is not reached to reconfirm him.
(Adopted 4/0/1/1)

Enforcement[edit]

Reconfirm[edit]

I put the reconfirm on WN:A Bawolff ☺☻Smile.png 05:39, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Log of blocks and bans[edit]

Here log any block, ban or extension under any remedy in this decision. Minimum information includes name of administrator, date and time, what was done and the basis for doing it.