Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/172 vs VeryVerily

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User:VeryVerily and User:Cadr refuse to back down (and even accept my offer of a compromise footnote) following an overwhelming poll result defeating their position that a version of the intro asserting U.S. backing for the Chilean coup in 1973 without any weasel terms ("many people believe...") is 'misleading' and 'controversial'.

Rather than accepting the poll results (as User:TDC accepted a similarly overwhelming result on Talk:Fascism), VeryVerily in particular is preceding to impugn the credibility of the users who disagree with him on the poll. It is clear his barrage of personal attacks (and now attacks on the credibility of Wikipedia-- see his latest comments on Talk:Augusto Pinochet) is the last stand of his desperate attempts to keep Augusto Pinochet protected indefinitely.

This page needs to be unprotected, with Augusto Pinochet/intro (succinct version) replacing the current, emphatically rejected, weasel term intro. If VeryVerily continues to revert the page over and over again, perhaps measures should be taken to prevent him from vandalizing the page and refusing to accept the addition of indisputably factual content to the article. 172 13:08, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

It would be helpful for anyone curious about this to consult those who had to suffer through this process. Several users spent weeks working together to develop an intro which addressed everyone's concerns. 172 then showed up out of the blue, erased and rewrote it entirely including adding inflammatory POV content, dismissed the previous discussion as "partisan bickering", and refused to alter it by even one word, systematically reverting edits by four or five users. His supposed "compromise" by adding a 1 is not a compromise at all, but a way to prevent any changes. As has been pointed out variously by Michael Snow, Cadr, Ed Poor, and me, the poll is non-binding by policy, was not as phrased about which intro is better, and was overwhelming only b/c 172 campaigned on chosen user pages for it, bringing in people who had had no part of the debate. (See talk page for more on this.) The "barrage of personal attacks" has in fact been directed against me by 172, who has called my edits "bullshit" and "gibberish" and called me a "little bitch" living in a "fantasy world" - well, listing all his personal attacks would be impossible, but suffice it to say I have refrained from such behavior. 172 has been lying about the history and events on all manner of discussion pages. This is his latest gambit. VV 14:35, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I now realize that I should complement User:TDC for his contrastingly and refreshingly honorable response to the poll results at Talk:Fascism. VV should learn something from TDC. 172 15:18, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I support this request for arbitration, and ask the arbitration committee to consider as part of it the long-running interpersonal dispute between 172 and VeryVerily, which has led to three quickpolls and revert wars on many different articles. I don't know if the Arbitration Committee will consider it appropriate to make decisions about the content of Augusto Pinochet or any other article, but the personal conflict between 172 and VeryVerily is wasting an incredible amount of other people's energy and interfering with the progress of numerous articles.

There have been several attempts to resolve this dispute by other methods. As stated, there have been three quickpolls involving these two users, one of which was for a request for mediation. At the time, the community rejected the idea of "forcing" the parties into mediation, and other efforts to encourage 172 and VeryVerily to use the mediation process have not been successful. A previous attempt to use Wikipedia:Requests for comment simply led to a revert war and had to be abandoned. At this point, I feel that the dispute is ripe for the use of arbitration as a last resort. If the Arbitration Committee would like to see additional information about the dispute to decide whether it warrants their attention, I plan to start collecting evidence of that, but this will take considerable time. --Michael Snow 16:28, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Michael Snow, I am not interested in a personal fight. Let's keep the focus on this article, alright. 172 01:26, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I would like to chime in stressing the importance of arbitration here. RfC pages have been started about each of them, and, at least from the outset, it looks like the community is polarizing and picking sides, and trying to argue that this case deserved the 50-reversions that either VV or 172 gave it, because the other is just too incompitent to edit, etc, etc, etc. I would not support mediation on article content here, but on user conduct - to clarify whether there is ever a situation where 50 reversions of the same text in a half an hour is acceptable behavior, for an admin, for a user, or for anyone. Snowspinner 13:08, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

I request that the conduct of 172 be reviewed by the arbitrators, with his lengthy history and large number of edits with the project being ample evidence and reason for reflection on him, and the best way for him to interact with the community. Because he is an administrator, it seems to me that it is important for him to meet minimum standards of conduct. I see him as being indicative of a wider tendency for quality editors to become rude, unable to accept when they are wrong (or POV), and behave in a manner that is generally unbecoming. This is in my eyes a meta-issue whose arbitration presents the opportunity for significant improvement in obedience of Wikipedia:Civility/Wikipedia:Wikiquette, as much as Wikipedia:Revert. I think that there is a need for clarifying these policies and the enforcement suitable for them thru means other than arbitration as well, but arbitrating this matter may help greatly in setting precedent. Sam [Spade] 04:21, 24 May 2004 (UTC)


If indeed 172 is withdrawing is request, then I would like to renew it myself, requesting arbitration vis-a-vis 172's conduct on Augusto Pinochet. Those that were present during the bulk of it - me, Cadr, Cantus, Eloquence, AstroNomer, and perhaps Ed Poor and Michael Snow - have all witnessed his belligerent, rude, intransigent, bullying, and dishonest behavior and his repeated failure to discuss content issues. This continues unabated as of this writing. VV 04:55, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

I find his attempts to make this into a black and white battle between innocent and guilty duplicitous and deceitful. We are both equally guilty of violating the three revert rule, although I admit that and justify that on the basis of the changes made to articles, not on the basis of villifying VeryVerily. 172 06:16, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that's how I see it. I also justify my work on articles and my increasingly severe actions to protect that work. By "vilifying" you (seeking 3rd party help) I am taking measures to curb your destructive behavior, as other means have failed. Part of that must be bringing said behavior to light. VV 08:12, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Quit trying to make yourself sound like a saint. People here fall for a lot, but they're not so stupid that they won't figure out what you're up to at some point. You know very well that I could pile up a list of charges myself and call it "taking measures to curb your destructive behavior, as other means have failed." I could say that part of that must be bringing said behavior to light as well. The only difference is that I'm not nearly bored enough to waste my time thinking about you more than I have to. You're safe so long as I'm in a position in which I'm just sick of dealing with you, not in which I have to counter-attack. So, please, for your own sake and mine, watch out. If you start a witchhunt against someone, don't be surprised if he has to start up his own witchhunt to defend himself. I can leave you alone forget/shut up about all the bullshit you've made me suffer through if you too can leave me alone. 172 09:00, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
You already made such an attempt to "pile" (Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/172#Passive aggression); it was not persuasive. And if this last month was being "safe", well, I'm not worried about unsafety. Believe me, I have no desire to deal with you either, but I have a yet greater desire to not be steamrolled. VV 09:36, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
As this discussion was going on, you reverted every one of my changes to My Lai Massacre without explanation. Hypocrite! 172 11:13, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Let me just make clear what my request is, since some observers may be unsure what is going on based on the content of 172's withdrawn request and VeryVerily's renewal. I am requesting arbitration regarding both 172 and VeryVerily, not just one or the other. I had been considering making this request for some time, as their dispute has a lengthy history, and given both parties indication of this. I was finally prompted to make this request by 172's initial request, as well as their recent revert war on Augusto Pinochet and History of the Soviet Union (1927-1953).

I maintain this request, and I consider it independent of any requests that 172 and VeryVerily may or may not be making. I am fully satisfied that so far, in considering whether to accept this case, the arbitrators have clearly understood the nature of this request. --Michael Snow 20:43, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Discussion and votes by arbitrators[edit]

On 172's request:

  1. Recuse. Fred Bauder 16:16, May 20, 2004 (UTC)
  2. I'm going to say reject to 172's request. 172's requested remedy appears chiefly to be that the page be unprotected - but this is a matter for wikipedia:requests for page protection, not for this committee. Martin
  3. Reject, too. Direct content disputes such as this one, other than the way in which the protagonists behave towards one another and anon, are somewhat beyond the scope of Arbitration. James F. (talk) 10:19, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

On Michael Snow's request:

  1. I'm going to provisionally accept Michael Snow's request that the committee investigate "the long-running interpersonal dispute between 172 and VeryVerily, which has led to three quickpolls and revert wars on many different articles", as emphasised by Snowspinner. I say provisionally accept, because if 172 and VeryVerily do not wish this matter to go into arbitration, they can seek mediation instead, which would likely be more productive. See also Wikipedia:Requests for comment/VeryVerily, Wikipedia:Requests for comment/172. Martin 23:31, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
  2. I accept as well. But since I've been involved with trying to resolve some of these conflicts before (such as at Congo Free State) in a non-partisan way I will recuse myself if either 172 or VV asks me to. --mav 14:49, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
  3. Accept on the grounds that VV and 172 seem unwilling to go to Mediation; if they so wish to do so, reject. James F. (talk) 10:19, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
  4. Recuse Fred Bauder 11:19, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

It should be noted that I consider this a request by Michael Snow, not 172, so 172's withdrawal does not effect my acceptance. Martin 22:29, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Withdraw request[edit]

I'd like to withdraw my request for arbitration. I'm not interested in personal disputes. I was only seeking a resolution with respect to the content of the introduction in the Augusto Pinochet page and the results of Talk:Augusto Pinochet#Another poll when I was making this request.

This page is really at the root of the contention between VeryVerily and me. IMHO, he just has a tendency to pass judgment, explain and interpret the behavior of anyone who disagrees with him in a disparaging manner, attack back relentlessly when someone gets in his way, and refuse to respectfully disagree with me. But even so, all the other edit wars with him were really his retaliations against me born out of my involvement on the Pinochet page. (For example, I think this explains this.) I'm not bringing this up because I am asking for action to be taken against him, but rather to emphasize that the Pinochet page (and all the related behavioral dispute pages) is at the root of all this acrimony, given that the Pinochet page really has become a zero-sum struggle (VeryVerily refuses to back down on his stance that U.S.-backing for the 1973 coup is a controversial assertion, while I ardently reject this stance, along with 15~ users on Talk:Augusto Pinochet#Another poll).

But on other pages, I have been able to get him off my back. So, I'm pretty certain that once the situation on the Pinochet stabilizes I'll be able to avoid him-- hence my preference to deal with the substantive dispute on the Pinochet article and avoid this user, as opposed to all the mudslinging going on in the margins.

In short, I'm against a personal arbitration here and only intervention pertaining to the Pinochet edit war. 172 00:50, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

It would be redundant to explain again the absurdity of saying of me that I "interpret the behavior of anyone who disagrees with him in a disparaging manner, attack back relentlessly when someone gets in his way, and refuse to respectfully disagree with me", but I at least want to deny it and repoint to the extensive documentation of 172's misbehavior. The Pinochet page is not "at the root" - 172 harassed me on several other pages before that - but it is the one in which I am at present most invested, as I object strongly to his wording (as do others) and was offended by his unilateral erasure of our (I and others) previous collective work and his reverting thereafter. It is true that while the page was locked I turned my attention to other cases where 172 has squashed my edits in the past, ready to be more assertive this time. Those have not gone too badly, as he seems less revert-happy (172 characterizes this as getting me "off his back", as though they're "his" pages), but the Pinochet page remains at a standoff because of 172's intransigence. So, I don't see why he is withdrawing his request for arbitration on that page, unless he hopes it kills Michael Snow's as well. VV 02:23, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Re: "So, I don't see why he is withdrawing his request for arbitration on that page, unless he hopes it kills Michael Snow's as well." In case you haven't noticed, I'm trying to curb this conflict and keep it contained to the Pinochet article. I loath dealing with you-- and to be honest I think that you're a lying, manipulative, juvenile, pigheaded, passive aggressive, hypocritical, tattletale prick (**this is not a personal attack** but only an expression of my feelings)-- and I want to do so less often. I can quit launching salvos at you if you can. If you quit picking fights with me and pushing me into situations where you know I will respond with a revert war (e.g., Muammar Gaddafi, Origins of the American Civil War, and George W. Bush)-- and quit tattletaling to teacher and lying about what I am doing-- then I'll be able to (and happy to) avoid you. 172 03:27, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I can't believe that an adult, or anyone over the age of 12, would seriously use the term "tattletale" in an argument. - Nat Krause 18:23, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Your own actions have damned you, not my statements. What you call "tattletaling" (which you are happy to do) is seeking third-party intervention in our dispute, to try to "curb this conflict". Anyway, your list of adjectives is just amusing. If you want to avoid me, a good start would be to stop stalking me. VV 03:51, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I consider you a stalker too. And I could "tattletale" about you just as often-- I just don't care to do so. If we quit trying to prove the same point-- that the other person is a piece of shit and I'm innocent-- this will stop. Now, shut up and leave me alone. 172 04:07, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I don't think it's coincidence that you started attacking Augusto Pinochet soon after I began working on it. Nor do I not suspect the timing of your appearances at FOX News, Torture and murder in Iraq, State terrorism, and so on. "Leave me alone" - hah! VV 05:02, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Attacking Augusto Pinochet? Don't you remember losing a poll on that page 2-15, 12% to 88%? 172 05:24, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
It was after the fact, but no, I didn't even vote in your bogus and irrelevant "poll". VV 05:34, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, okay, if you had voted, the results would've been 83% saying that U.S. backing isn't a controversial and misleading assertion, not 88%. Regarding state terrorism and torture and murder in Iraq and my admin interventions during edit wars between you and Lance/Hector/Richard/Hanpuk/etc. a couple of months ago, at the time I had no idea that you were the tendentious character that I'd ever deal with. I now know that I'd rather go to a place like Abu Ghraib than spend so much time dealing with you again. 172 05:43, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Reverting all my edits and calling it a "temper tantrum" when I restore them, that's "admin intervention"? Or are you referring to calling my edits "ridiculous", "lame", and "rubbish", without explanation? It's hard to know. And I'm glad to see you express a newfound interest in leaving me the hell alone. VV 06:29, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Still on the attack, aren't you? Quit talking at staw men. 172 07:21, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
You mean directly quoting you? VV 07:36, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Yes, out of context, as ususal. 172 07:41, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
A new defense! - but no better. Is there a proper context for direct insults? VV 07:42, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
You were not quoting insults but rather criticisms of edits to articles. And wes, we are allowed to criticize the content of articles, which is what I was doing. 172 07:45, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
So, how is this "out of context" when I specifically said "my edits"? And "lame" and "rubbish" are, well, certainly not constructive criticisms, even if "allowable" (a weak standard). VV 08:04, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Even if that's the case, those comments were in response to changes that were not constructive. 172 08:16, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

I would like to reiterate that I would still like to see this matter arbitrated, so as to determine the acceptability of these particular editing practices. Snowspinner 04:04, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree. Even with the original person asking for arbitration withdrawing their request, it seems like issues need to be resolved in some fashion. --Ben Brockert (:talk:) 21:45, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
As I see it, Arbitration is not contingent on the co-operation of those involved (though it's IMO in their best interests to attempt a defence, to draw our attention to certain points). 172's "withdrawl" of support is unfortunate, but not a show-stopper.
James F. (talk) 22:34, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

I have not been involved in the Pinochet page, but credible evidence of the US backing has been presented. Still the cadre of right-wing conspirators wants to re-write history to reflect their vision of what it should have been. This is lying by omission, by conveniently leaving out those truths that would embarass that vision. In the My Lai article the rightists support the term Viet Cong (VC) instead of the more neutral National Liberation Front (NLF), all to suggest that those who were defending their country were wrong to resist an overseas bully. They insist on using "American" instead of the more precise adjectival "United States", in complete disregard of the sensitivities of those in the other Americas over being associated with that particular piece of US criminality. I've been criticized before for using the term "American artist" instead of "United States artist", and that was not in a particularly controversial context. The armed land force is officially the "United States Army", not the "American Army". In the Soviet Union article they favour wordings persist in reminding us of their POV that communism is necessarily evil. This kind of attitude detracts from any kind of objective criticism of Stalin's very evident excesses. The antics of this Klannish cabal is the most destructive inluence extant againt achieving any kind of Neutral encyclopedia.

The three-revert rule settles nothing, nor for that matter would a 50-revert rule. No party produces that many reverts without there being as many contrary reverts. Such a rule may bring temporary respite, but it solves nothing if the article remains frozen in one or the other POV. Demanding references for disputed comments would be a lot more constructive, even if it has to be on a word by word basis. Eclecticology 08:46, 30 May 2004 (UTC)