Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/jguk 2

Case Opened on 12:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Case Closed on 03:29, 11 November 2005 (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]

Initiator of complaint[edit]

Summary of complaint[edit]

Jguk recurrently engages in edit wars to change era style in numerous Wikipedia articles. He misinterprets Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Jguk, WP:RULES, WP:MoS, violates WP:CIV and often uses misleading edit summaries.

Nominal defendent[edit]

Third parties joined by Jguk[edit]

Request for full clarification of prior decision[edit]

Jguk requests full clarification of the decision in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Jguk, naming Fred Bauder as a nominal party.

Request for clarification[edit]

Slrubenstein and Jdavidb raise questions regarding the scope of the Jguk arbitration cases as they apply to editing by all Wikipedia users.

Request for temporary injunction[edit]

As Sortan (talk · contribs) is almost certainly a sockpuppet role account and its owner is unknown, it is impossible at present to assess Sortan's full role in the affair. Also, it is not fair on WP for a user to adopt a "John Doe" persona in order to bring charges against another. Therefore I request that the Sortan account is given a limited time in which to reveal whatever other WP accounts it has, and if it fails to do so be blocked until such a time that the request is met, jguk 18:03, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by party 1[edit]

Please limit your statement to 500 words

Confirmation that other steps in dispute resolution have been tried
  1. User talk:Jguk/Archive8#The current BC-BCE edit war
  2. User talk:Jguk/Archive8#Date era style
  3. User talk:Jguk/Archive8#Accusations of "troll"
  4. User talk:Jguk/Archive9#BCE
  5. User talk:Jguk/Archive9#BCE, again
  6. User talk:Jguk/Archive9#BCE again, again
  7. User talk:Jguk/Archive9#Dates on Jerusalem
  8. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive46#User:Jguk I
  9. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive47#Jguk II
  10. Talk:Kingdom of Judah#BCE/CE again
  11. Talk:Kingdom of Judah#Stalking
  12. Talk:Kingdom of Judah#BCE/BC - reminder of sitewide compromise
  13. Talk:Kingdom of Israel#BC/BCE - reminder of sitewide de facto compromise
  14. User talk:Humus sapiens#Comment
  15. User talk:Humus sapiens#ArbCom's meaning
  16. Talk:Hebrew calendar#BCE vs BC

and many more.

Statement by Humus sapiens[edit]

It seems that Jguk (talk · contribs) is on a mission to switch the date notation across WP to the BC/AD. He justifies it by a wide variety of reasons (some of which contradict others) and engages in wikistalking, ad hominem attacks, strawman arguments, intimidation and revert wars, in some cases against the consensus and even when explicitly told that some consider such changes inappropriate (as in Talk:Hebrew calendar). He was noted to omit ([3]) or use misleading edit summaries; to edit under anon IP addresses (according to [4]); to assert "I'm told the MOS mandates this copyedit" in one place, while "far more people will understand this version" elsewhere, and "WP has a "no change of date styles" policy, and that this was endorsed by ArbCom" someplace else. Whatever formulation suits him at the moment, his changes are always from BCE/CE to BC/AD. Apparently, this activity goes back for months now, well before our first encounter. Even after numerous explanations and warnings by many editors (including even those who favor the BC/AD notation), he still systematically misinterprets WP policies and the WP:MoS, explicitly quoted in the ArbCom's ruling: "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article". Humus sapiens←ну? 07:49, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by Sortan[edit]

jguk, also editing as jongarrettuk, SmokeDog, and under various ip address in the range -, continues his disruptive behavior in order to remove all references and usage of Common Era, BCE, and CE. During the last arbitration, he made a very public show of "leaving" in order to elicit sympathy and sway the arbitration process, and he seems to have been mostly successful. Even as he pretended to "leave", he came back using the sockpuppet SmokeDog, and as an ip editor to remove/convert over 300 articles using BCE/CE to BC/AD. After "returning", he resumed his previous pattern to enforce his stylistic preferences. He followed User:Sunray to Fu Hsi, where after Sunray made this edit, followed it up with an edit demanding "consistency" [5]. This is especially egregious as it was he who had initially changed date styles in the article [6]. He then went to engage in a revert war (making twelve reversions against six different editors and against the clear consensus on the talk page). A similar pattern was followed on Elam where he engaged in over 14 reversions. He often cites "consistency" as an excuse when converting articles to BC/AD notation, yet when other editors do the same but instead choose BCE/CE, he immediately reverts and converts the article to BC/AD notation, ofter using a misleading edit summary. For example, in Kingdom of Judah, the article used inconsistent notation here. User:Humus sapiens made an edit, making the article consistent [7], and he follows this edit by converting the (now consistent) article to BC/AD notation with a deceptively labeled edit summary. This diff more clearly illustrates his actual changes. As stated before, this same pattern is also repeated across many articles. Recently, he has taken to inventing policy to support his edits [8]. Even editors who support BC/AD notation have condemned his actions [9]. See here for a complete list of his era related edits since his last arbcom case (which numbers over 300), in addition to his edits as an ip editor [10], (which also numbers over 300). Sortan 18:35, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by party 2[edit]

Please limit your statement to 500 words

Statement by jguk[edit]

I am re-writing this section to outline the charges I wish to bring.

Before doing so, I'd like to say that, since ArbCom last decided this, I have been fully supporting their decision and encouraging others to do so. However, it appears that a small minority of users are not only unwilling to accept that, but chose to use bullying tactics, incivility and, in one case, an abusive sockpuppet, to force changes both the ArbCom and the community have already objected. Every olive branch has been declined - instead they have used it as an excuse to attack. All that was needed here was a clear re-iteration of ArbCom's decision, together with a statement that all editors should be bound by it. Instead, I fear, this is about to get vicious.

I shall be reducing my time on WP in the coming weeks because of real-life commitments, so I am outlining my evidence now. It is on Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/BCE 2/Evidence. A summary of the charges is below - I will inform all users listed here before the end of the day.

Summary of charges[edit]
  • User:Humus sapiens - incivility, personal attacks, edit-warring, refusal to participate in a dispute resolution process (other than to bring a case before ArbCom), ignoring the ArbCom's previous decision and creating an atmosphere of general hositility and bullyinh
  • User:Sortan - Sortan is a sockpuppet that is used to deny responsibility for incivility, personal attacks, edit-warring, bullying and ignoring the ArbCom's previous decision. The real identity (by which I mean the usual WP username this editor goes under is unknown), but it is likely to be a prolific WPian, well aware of WP processes and very possibly an admin.
  • User:Fred Bauder - making a decision that no reasonable person could make, and making that decision where he knew, or should have known, that it would increase disruption on WP.
  • User:CDThieme - incivility, personal attacks.

Statements by outside parties[edit]

Statement by outside party (Briangotts)[edit]

Despite Jguk's assertion that he is merely following policy and wishes to avoid changing date styles, he has a history of selectively changing common era notation to BC/AD or eliminating CE when it is required for clarity's sake. On October 10 he made 3 attempts to eliminate the common era notation from Khazars, which has used it ever since the article was overhauled more than a year ago. [11] [12] [13] --Briangotts (talk) 04:03, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by outside party (Slrubenstein)[edit]

I do not want to address the specific conflict between Jguk and Humus sapiens. I do however have a question and a statement. Question: are ArbCom rulings considered decisions concerning specific disputes between specific partices, or more general findings concerning policy that apply to all editors? I recognize that ArbCom findings in the past may be and often are relevant to conflicts in the present. But I do not believe ArbCom rulings in the past can themselves become general policy. Jguk seesms to be treating a past ArbCom ruling as if it were general policy.

It is clear after an intense discussion that there is no consensus to use BCE and CE uniformly at Wikipedia, and no one to my knowledge now claims that it should be. The question facing the commnity as a whole and the ArbCom in particular now is simple: With respect to dating notation (BC/AD, BCE/CE), are all articles "frozen," meaning, editors are no longer free to discuss, on an article-by-article basis, which dating system is most appropriate? Even if it were within the bounds of the ArbCom to make such a ruling, I do not think it is wise.

Jguk and others have pointed to one criteria that is important: consistency within an article. I agree this is an important criteria. But this criteria can be interpreted in different ways. In Biblical canon for example, BCE/CE is used to describe the canonization of Hebrew scripture, and BC/AD for Christian scripture. This is a more or less stable situation. Now, one can argue that the article is inconsistent, using two systems of notation. Or one can argue that it is consistent, using one system for Jewish texts and the other for Christian texts, consistently.

Moreover, I do not believe this should be the sole criteria. I think that if a majority, expecially a sizable majority, of editors who have been working on an article favor one system, we should at the very least respect them enough to assume that they are actingin good faith and have reasons for their choice, reasons that the community at large may find acceptable.

My problem is when Jguk and others, e.g. Arcturus, specifically look for articles that use BCE and CE and try to change them. This occured at Biblical canon [14]. In this discussion I mistakenly claimed that the BCE and CE had been used from the start (the computer I was using allowed me to see only a partial edit history). I now agree that the original stub used BC and AD. However, BCE and CE had been used in that article since September 2002. Whenever I added "BCE" or "CE" I was also adding content. Other people who were adding content either had no objection to using BCE/CE as appropriate, or used it themselves. There was no controversy over this issue until August 2005 &mdahs; three years later — when Arcturus and Jguk made this article the target of their anti BCE/CE campaign. Arcturus and Jguk were not adding or editing content, they were only mucking around with material other editors had added in good faith (what I mean is, if Arcturus or Jguk had added several paragraphs of informative text about the canonization of the Bible, I would take their dating preferences seriously). Slrubenstein | Talk 15:26, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

  1. I endorse this summary wholeheartedly. Jdavidb (talk) 13:33, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by outside party (Grace Note)[edit]

We had a vote and they didn't win. So Humus has decided that all "Jewish" articles should be changed to match his preference, even though his case was not supported when we voted on it. But it's insupportable that a particular ethnicity should "own" a set of articles. The same rules for all articles, not different ones for those that have vocal POV pushers working on them.

BTW, arbitrators who expressed an opinion on the issue should consider recusing, as should those who are partisan on this and related issues. Grace Note 05:10, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Response by Humus sapiens[edit]
  1. If "they didn't win" means Voting on SLR's proposal: I did not participate in that voting, and it is non-binding.
  2. FYI, the Jews are ethno-religious group.
  3. The idea of "Jewish owned" articles is a strawman I strongly reject: all WP articles are open to everyone. I did ask for ArbCom's clarification to take into consideration the subject of each article. For example, it is inappropriate to use American spelling in History of Britain. Humus sapiens←ну? 04:24, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by outside party (Zocky)[edit]

Without going into the merits of individual edits, I would like to point out three things, lest we get sidetracked from what's important in this case.

  1. The policy is not now and never was "no changes". The issue of BC/BCE was always considered to be of the same class as the issue of color/colour, and the long accepted solution to the problem is: (a) Be consistent within an article, (b) Choose the most logical option for the article as it evolves; if there's no logical option, go with the original author's choice, and (c) don't make a big fuss out of it. ArbCom's decision in the last round did nothing to change that.
  2. The vote which was held about the idea to change all dates to BCE/CE, which was soundly and fairly defeated, also had no effect on the long-standing policy. Rejection of a proposal does not constitute consensus for the opposite option.
  3. The whole thing is trivial and can be easily solved by a minor extension of software: just make [[30 AD]] display as 30 AD or 30 CE or whatever according to user's preferences, exactly like we do now with dates.

Zocky 10:13, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Statement by outside party (Zora)[edit]

I got up this morning, checked my watchlist, and found that Jguk had completely removed "CE" from the Ali article [15]. He has never previously edited the article, offered no explanation of his actions, just arrived and took out the date notations. Please STOP this repugnant behavior. Zora 19:00, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Preliminary decisions[edit]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (4/1/0/0)[edit]

  • Reject. See discussion in the clarification section if you really want. James F. (talk) 10:49, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Accept Fred Bauder 14:39, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Accept. →Raul654 23:25, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Accept, reluctantly. Kelly Martin 20:13, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Accept ➥the Epopt 14:06, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Temporary injunction[edit]

1) Based on continued editing solely for the purpose of removing BCE/CE notation from articles (see [16] [17]), jguk is prohibited from changing or removing any BCE/CE notation from any article, or making any edit intended to achieve that result, pending resolution of this matter.

Passed 6 to 0 at 14:56, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Final decision[edit]


Obsessional point of view[edit]

1) In certain cases a Wikipedia editor will tendentiously focus their attention in an obsessive way. Such users may be banned from editing in the affected area.

Passed 7-0

Manual of Style[edit]

2.2) The Manual of Style is a set of guidelines governing appropriate editing on Wikipedia. Editors are expected to follow the Manual of Style, although it is not policy and editors may deviate from it with good reason.

Passed 5-0

Changing a guideline such as Manual of Style[edit]

3) A guideline such as Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Eras can be changed by the Wikipedia community, see how policies are decided. This policy provides for consensus decision-making by those users who are familiar with the matter.

Passed 7-0

Edit-warring considered harmful[edit]

4) Regardless of whether editors break the three revert rule, edit-warring is considered detrimental to Wikipedia, on account of both the social disruption it causes and the stalling effect it has on the improvement of the article in question. Editors should use the dispute resolution process to solve the issue instead.

Passed 6-0-1

Findings of fact[edit]

Jguk's campaign[edit]

1) Jguk has changed the era notation on hundreds of articles which he does not usually edit to reflect his preferred usage BC AD, see for example his edits to Khazars: [18], [19], [20].

Passed 6-1

Reaction of regular editors[edit]

2) The regular editors of articles which Jguk has visited for the purpose of correcting the era format have objected to his efforts, see for example Talk:Khazars#Date_crusade.

Passed 7-0


3) All the parties in the dispute (jguk, Sortan, Humus sapiens) have engaged in edit-warring over date styles.

Passed 6-0-1

What policy says[edit]

4) On the matter of usage of years, the Manual of Style currently says:

"Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article. Normally you should use plain numbers for years in the Common Era, but when events span the start of the Common Era, use AD or CE for the date at the end of the range (note that AD precedes the date and CE follows it). For example, 1 BCAD 1 or 1 BCE1 CE. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Eras."
Passed 7-0


Jguk banned from changing BCE to BC or CE to AD[edit]

1) Jguk is indefinitely prohibited from changing BCE to BC or CE to AD in any article, for any reason.

Passed 7-0


Enforcement by ban[edit]

1) Jguk may be briefly banned, up to a week in the case of repeated offenses, should he attempt to change the era notation in any article.

Passed 7-0

Record of blocks for violation[edit]