Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Robert the Bruce

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Case Opened on 28 January 2005

Case Closed on 23:49, 2005 Feb 18 (UTC)

Please do not edit this page directly unless you wish to become a participant in this case; editing this page implicitly authorizes the other participants to enter a complaint against you which may be considered by the Arbitrators as may your behavior. 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 a proposed decision at /Proposed decision.

The parties[edit]

User:Exploding Boy, petitioner

v.

Robert the Bruce, respondent, also known as Friends of Robert, and Robert Brookes. May also be Robert Blair.


Hold on here! Robert Blair most certainly is NOT Robert the Bruce. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Robert Blair 01:53, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • Good Lord Robert! What are you saying? That Explosive Boys deliberate lie has been exposed? Well the sad news is that you are banned like me from editing circumcision related articles. Tough. - Robert the Bruce 16:19, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Statement of complaint[edit]

Please limit your statement to 500 words


My recent RFA against user: Robert the Bruce was rejected, I feel inappropriately. Since the rejected request, his behaviour has continued to escalate. The pages he edits are out of control. He continues to attempt to goad and bait me. He ignores repeated requests to modify his behaviour. He continues to add inflammatory and offensive subheadings to talk pages. In short, he is trolling.

Members of the arbitration committee stated that the RFA was rejected because we have not attempted mediation. Several users and I have stated on numerous occasions that we feel mediation would be pointless. In any case, mediation is not designed to address the types of problems this user creates. I would like this RFA reopened for reconsideration. Exploding Boy 20:49, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)

As mediation seems to be at the crux of this, I'd just like to note that, as a member of the MC and apparently its future Chair (unless someone decides they want the job), we don't have our act together right now and are unlikely to in the next several weeks. While certainly mediation can occur outside of the MC, I think it's fair to say that right now Wikipedia doesn't have a fully functioning formal mediation process, though it certainly should by this time next month. I don't know if that impacts your decision, but thought you'd want to be aware, at least. Jwrosenzweig 22:35, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I agree that this case has become, if not more urgent, at least more of a problem. Robert the Bruce's recent intervention on Meissner's corpuscle is a case in point. This isn't a case of someone who reacts angrily or edit wars (although he does do this) but someone who continually attempts to portray almost everyone with whom he disagrees as an apologist for some kind of anti-circumcision activism--which he seems to see everywhere on wikipedia. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:00, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Although I haven't interacted much with Robert, my experience was exactly what Tony describes. Jayjg (talk) 03:08, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
In fairness I suppose I should add that there is indeed an organized anti-circumcision activism going on on Wikipedia; however, Robert paints almost all Wikipedians he disagrees with as being part of that group, when in fact they constitute only a small number of individuals. Jayjg (talk) 04:49, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I should like to add that Robert's below statement: "My belief is that he has behaved atrociously and as an admin has brought the office of admin/sysop into disrepute. Through this mediation I hope to reach an understanding with Exploding Boy that he ceases to abuse the systems of Wikipedia as a means to neutralise those with whom he has a POV disagreement" is part of his ongoing campaign, to what end, I don't know. I've challenged him on a number of occasions to demonstrate any impropriety or misuse of sysop privileges on my part, and he has been unable to do so. Exploding Boy 17:52, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

Statement by affected party[edit]

(as reviewed 13 Feb 2005) Exploding Boy has displayed desperation in attempting to misuse the instruments of Dispute Resolution to silence me. The RfC failed to product any community consensus for the issue to progress to ArbCom. The first attempt at a RfA was rejected on the basis that all other avenues (mediation) had not been exhausted prior to attempting mediation. Instead of merely reject the first RfA ArbCom should have directed EB to enter into mediation. ArbCom’s failure to do so constitiutes a dereliction of duty and left the door open to the abuse which has now taken place. So as to circumvent entering into mediation EB cynically manipulated ArbCom member Raul654 so as to gain support for a second attempt at an RfA. The involvement of Raul in this and other related matters to articles edited by both EB and I would have demanded Raul654 recuse himself should the matter come up for arbitration a second time. The case for Raul654 to recuse himself was superbly made by Advocate Wally (on my behalf) and is to be found here. That Raul has refused to recuse himself sadly indicates not only a lack of personal integrity but also bodes ill for the credibility of the ArbCom itself. There is no question that the ArbCom should have at absolute minimum have taken a vote on the matter and issued a ruling together with making the vote public. Once again a serious instance of dereliction of duty from the ArbCom.

The Motion to Dismiss [1] was submitted by Advocate Wally and dismissed by ArbCom without having expressed an opinion on the merits of a second submission so soon after the first failed RfA. An inherent bias is obvious and has been documented in my evidence.

Further to both the preliminary motions it is my contention that the current ArbCom is unfit to fulfil their function. Three cases of a demonstrable lack of integrity and two directly related cases of questionable behaviour render to ArbCom compromised to the extent of being unable to render any form of credible decision making.

While quite clearly the current ArbCom proceedings are no more than a kangaroo court I have felt it necessary to continue to rebut the ridiculous and outrageous allegations made against me and to protest the incompetence and dishonesty of the ArbCom and its members. See here.

Arbitration policy dictates the ArbCom act as follows [2]:

Once the hearing has ended, the Arbitrators will release one or more detailed Arbitrators' opinions on the case. The Arbitrators will also release a judgment detailing their resolution to the dispute, which will be binding. The Arbitrators will seek to reach consensus amongst themselves on this remedy. If consensus can not be reached, a vote will be taken, with the view of the majority of the Arbitrators prevailing.

Clearly the ArbCom are already in violation of this policy and continue to make a mockery of both the arbitration procedure and Wikipedia itself. Quite disgraceful.

(note original material moved to here

- Robert the Bruce 12:13, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I is noted (sadly not unexpectedly) that the proposed decision being voted on by this ArbCom fails to produce remedies for the various "Proposed findings of fact" but only seem able to express their desperation to ban Robert the Bruce. On this basis alone the proposed decision can not be considered to be binding and in the interests of Wikipedia the incompetence of the ArbCom and its failure to follow the basic arbitration procedure must be urgently addressed. - Robert the Bruce 05:53, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

While I am no longer officially involved with this case, as it draws to a close I would like to strenuously and forcefully urge leniance from the committee towards Robert in this matter. He is somewhat unorthodox in his manners and methods, and perhaps a bit quick at the tongue; but this project as a whole is unorthodox, and the fact that someone approaches his topics perhaps more aggressively is an asset to the Wikipedia as an institution, not a drawback. There is more than a little truth to the idea that it takes all sorts, and find what fault you may in Robert's methods but I firmly believe that his edits and his research have been of the best quality to which the Wikipedia might aspire, and that where he has made changes, sometimes drastic, they have at least been well-defined and supported by researched facts. The ArbCom has much with which to deal, and must at times use the spear instead of the olive branch, but I believe that a severe reaction in this case risks the lost of a valuable and devoted editor. Many times in the past have lesser measures been imposed against users who acted in somewhat extreme ways but were shown to have real value to this project — in the case of User:Everyking, to name just one example. This is both right and proper. Robert may, indeed, need to have time away from the articles on which he has focused with such passion; however, a long outright ban will in the end only harm all parties involved, including Wikipedia itself. For these reasons I strongly and sincerely ask that in rendering its decision, the Committee take pause in its actions and consider, if nothing else, Wikipedia's longstanding reputation as an institution of tolerance and inclusiveness, as it is there values above all others that bind us together as a community.
Wally 04:44, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Attention is drawn to the fact that as per the Wikipedia Arbitration Policy where stated: "Once the hearing has ended, the Arbitrators will release one or more detailed Arbitrators' opinions on the case" has not been complied with. In a classic arse about face situation ArbCom are busy voting on a judgement before the detailed opinion has been presented. It this was not shocking enough in itself there is a glaring lack of findings with respect to the three vexatious litigants, the foreskin worshippers (who prefer to be known as genital integrity advocates) and a number of ArbCom members who have made themselves guilty of offences ranging from gross dishonesty to posting personal attacks. Sadly this comedy of errors indicates that the ArbCom with its current membership is unable to meet the legitimate expectation of fairness and due process of Arbitration hearings. Entertaining as this three-ring circus may be, clearly the out put can not be taken seriously. - Robert the Bruce 20:02, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In a final attempt to prompt the incompetent and dysfunctional ArbCom into addressing and providing remedies for their own findings of fact I initiated two Requests for arbitration. These were sadly rejected out of hand which indicates that they as a group have been unable to display the intellectual skills to deal with this matter in any other than the most simplistic terms. Having observed the feeding frenzy over the voting and followed the apparent thought processes involved in the various opinions put forward it is sadly once again clear that neither the current process nor the committee as currently constituted serves Wikipedia well. It is a truly pathetic spectacle. - Robert the Bruce 04:21, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Preliminary decision[edit]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (5/0/1/0)[edit]

  1. Accept. I think this needs looking at. →Raul654 21:25, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)
  2. I'm going to hold off making an official vote here until RtB has a say. -- Grunt 🇪🇺 21:32, 2005 Jan 27 (UTC) As mediation is broken for now - accept. -- Grunt 🇪🇺 03:02, 2005 Jan 28 (UTC)
  3. Ditto Grunt. Ditto Grunt. Neutralitytalk 21:59, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Accept ➥the Epopt 05:18, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC) (I'm sure this is not the right case to try out the new WP:DICK policy...)
  5. Accept for good measure. Ambi 10:09, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  6. Recuse Theresa Knott (The snott rake) 07:54, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Temporary injunction[edit]

Ban on editing sex-related articles[edit]

1) For the duration of this arbitration proceeding, Robert the Bruce (or the same person editing under any account or IP) is prohibited from editing any articles which relate to sex (in particular those relating to foreskin and circumcision) or adding or altering such material in other articles. Admins can treat any edit by the above person to these articles as a violation of 3RR and act accordingly.

Passed 8 to 0 and enacted at 00:32, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Final decision[edit]

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

Principles[edit]

Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point[edit]

1) Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point.

Passed 7-0-1.

No personal attacks[edit]

2) No personal attacks.

Passed 8-0.

Neutral point-of-view[edit]

3) Wikipedia's neutral point-of-view (NPOV) policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view regarding any subject on which there is division of opinion.

Passed 8-0.

Advocacy and propaganda[edit]

4) Wikipedia is not a soapbox for advocacy or propaganda.

Passed 8-0.

Citing sources[edit]

5)It is highly desirable that editors cite the sources of the information in their edits, especially on controversial articles.

Passed 8-0.

Do not remove references from articles[edit]

6) Removal of references from articles is generally inappropriate.

Passed 8-0.

Removal of relevant information[edit]

8) It is inappropriate to remove blocks of well-referenced information which is germane to the subject from articles on the grounds that the information advances a point of view. Wikipedia's NPOV policy contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view.

Passed 9-0.

Etiquette[edit]

9) Wikipedia users are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous manner in their dealing with other editors.

Passed 9-0.

Holding a strong POV does not necessarily imply POV-pushing edits[edit]

10) A strong point of view expressed elsewhere on a subject does not necessarily mean POV-pushing editing on Wikipedia; that can only be determined by the edits to Wikipedia.

Passed 8-0.

Findings of fact[edit]

One contention of Robert the Bruce[edit]

1) It is the contention of Robert the Bruce that "there is a well orchestrated attempt by anti-circumcision activists to force their POV in related articles on Wikipedia" [3]. This does not endorse or reject that view, but rather simply acknowledges that this perspective is held.

Passed 8-0.

List of "anti-circumcision activists"[edit]

2) Robert the Bruce maintains a list on his user page of editors who he feels are anti-circumcision activists including User:Walabio, see [4]; User_talk:DanBlackham, see contributions; User:Michael_Glass; User:DanP (some evidence regarding activities of Robert the Bruce is collected there); User talk:Truthbomber, see contributions, user page has been deleted); User talk:Robert Blair, user page deleted as a sock of Willy on Wheels, see contributions; User_talk:Revasser, no user page, see contributions; User:Ashley Y; User talk:Mrfunkygenius; User_talk:Asbestos#Medical_analysis_of_circumcision; User_talk:Exploding_Boy; User_talk:Thickslab; User talk:Njyoder; and User talk:Ralesk, see contributions.

Passed 8-0.

Websites and mailing list[edit]

3) There are a number of "genital integrity" movement websites devoted to information and advocacy regarding circumcision and related issues: infocirc.org, circumstitions.com and others. There is a mailing list: Intact-l at cirp.org majordomo@cirp.org. ("subscribe intact-l" in the body of the message) (archive). See intactivist resources

Passed 8-0.

Intactivist activities[edit]

4) There are a group of intactivist activists, including "Walabio," who edits Wikipedia, see posts on the mailing list Intact-l: [5], [6], [7] and [8]. These mailing list theads may be followed forward and backward.

Passed 8-0.

Removal of references by Robert the Bruce[edit]

5) Robert the Bruce has removed references from articles which relate to circumcision, see [9] and [10].

Passed 8-0.

Removal of blocks of information[edit]

7) Robert the Bruce has removed blocks of referenced information from articles, see [11].

Passed 8-0.

Personal attacks[edit]

8) Robert the Bruce has engaged in a large number of personal attacks, not only against those descibed as "anti-circumcision activists" [12], but also against the Arbitration Committee [13].

Passed 8-0.

Sockpuppets[edit]

9) The arbcom is satisfied that User:Robert the Bruce, User:Friends of Robert, and User:Robert Brookes are all the same user. Despite very similiar editing habits, technical evidence suggests to the satisfaction of the arbitration commmitee that they are not the same as User:Robert Blair.

Passed 9-0.

Editing habits of other users[edit]

Several users have on the opposing side of the circumcision argument have also made non-NPOV edits including removal of blocks of information and references. Those where clear evidence of this activity has been presented are User:Walabio [14] [15], User:DanP [16] [17] [18] and User:Robert Blair [19] [20]. Contributors on both sides, notably User:Jakew and User:Robert Blair, have also indulged in edit wars with an unhelpful number of reverts [21] [22] [23] [24]

Passed 6-0.

Remedies[edit]

Ban for deliberately disruptive edits[edit]

1) For numerous personal attacks, removal of referenced material and their associated references, failure to act civilly, and other deliberately disruptive editing habits, Robert the Bruce (or the same person editing under any username or IP address) is banned for a period of one year from editing Wikipedia in general.

Passed 8-1.

Continued ban on editing sex-related articles[edit]

2) For a period of one year after any other bans imposed, Robert the Bruce (or the same person editing under any account or IP) is prohibited from editing any articles which relate to sex or gender (in particular those relating to foreskin and circumcision) or adding or altering such material in other articles. Admins can treat any edit by the above person to these articles as a violation of 3RR and act accordingly.

Passed 7-2.


Warning to improve editing habits[edit]

3) Those contributors named in the findings above: User:Walabio, User:DanP, User:Robert Blair and User:Jakew, are advised to re-read Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy, with particular attention to the idea that NPOV includes all significant points of view regarding any subject on which there is division of opinion. The editors in question are expected to improve their editing habits and reminded that any future cases will consider seriously any failure to heed this warning.

Passed 7-0.