Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard

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Case Created Last volunteer edit Last modified
Title Status User Time User Time User Time
Breitbart News Case Closed Peter Gulutzan (t) 8 days, 1 hours Chefs-kiss (t) 1 days, Chefs-kiss (t) 1 days,
Burning of Smyrna New 70.164.212.36 (t) 6 days, 8 hours Robert McClenon (t) 1 days, 23 hours 70.164.212.36 (t) 1 days, 9 hours
Coat of arms of Lithuania New Pofka (t) 2 days, 21 hours None n/a Cukrakalnis (t) 56 minutes

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Last updated by FireflyBot (talk) at 16:30, 5 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Current disputes[edit]

Breitbart News Case[edit]

Symbol comment vote.svg – General close. See comments for reasoning.
Closed discussion

Burning of Smyrna[edit]

Symbol wait old.png – New discussion.
Filed by 70.164.212.36 on 08:23, 30 January 2023 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Have you discussed this on a talk page?

Yes, I have discussed this issue on a talk page already.

Location of dispute

Users involved

Dispute overview

Noticing propaganda on the caption of photo in article, I edited it out due to no reference (naively). Edit was reversed in 2 minutes with claim that content justified it. Found that Wikipedia does not allow interpretation and neither in a caption, I again deleted propaganda interpretation. My edit was reversed again within two hours with additional propaganda of genocide, with 2 weak references added. Editor said to Talk for Consensus. I wrote a long paragraph in Talk, pointing out my reasons for my edit in minute detail and disputing the validity of his references. Editor responded by writing they will add a new paragraph (never did, and now shows up as retired from Wikipedia!) I noted that Wikipedia was not for propaganda. Editor asked my reason for objecting to his references, and I explained in detail. No more replies from editor, although after 4 days I wrote further citing their various Wikipedia violations. Waited more days, then made a more involved edit with 2 additional references and accompanying text modifications. I also made a literal translation under an existing reference to remove a misrepresentation of what was said in reference. This edit was now reversed before a day passed by a brand new editor (replacing retired one?) with boilerplate edit summary with no proof. I undid this reversal citing my reasons (edit summary & Talk). Reversal was quick but no Talk. My undoing of reversal was again reversed the same evening, by yet another editor, again with boilerplate edit summary, but no proof. I decided that I am against a coordinated effort to lead me to an edit war which I cannot win, due to rotating non-responsive editors that do not participate in Talk. Therefore Talk was futile. I have already indicated in the Talk page my intent to escalate the issue. My edits and points are valid and the reversing editors have not brought any proofs, but have simply quickly reversed my edits citing vague incorrect reasons. Neither have they "Talk"ed.

How have you tried to resolve this dispute before coming here?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Burning_of_Smyrna#Was_the_Smyrna_(%C4%B0zmir)_fire_part_of_a_genocide_(Greek,_Armenian,_or_Turkish)?

How do you think we can help resolve the dispute?

By considering the Wikipedia rules and violations, judging the content, trying to suppress propaganda, what to do when editors that are quick on the trigger when reverting (2 minutes response time?) will not Talk (how can consensus be reached then?), and by looking for ways to deal with the rotating editors issue. A single person like me cannot have an edit hold in such a case for obvious reasons. Most importantly, the value of the edit content goes to zero no matter how significant.

Summary of dispute by TimothyBlue[edit]

I have limited ability to connect and post atm; I will be more available next week. My involvement here is from the infobox, but I support the reverts made by @Te og kaker:. I stated on the talk page that I would add more sources to post and will, although the existing sources are fine.

@Robert McClenon:: I think the ip's statements about the ethnicity and religion of editors and authors (here and on the talk page) needs to be addressed.  // Timothy :: talk  02:33, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@70.164.212.36: were you recently editing from the IP 184.179.106.251?  // Timothy :: talk  03:04, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No! What makes you think that? Where did you come up with that IP, and how did you decide to associate it with me? Do you have access to information that I do not? I made an honest and accurate edit of the Burning of Smyrna article and I see a number of people making assumptions regarding how I am doing what I am doing, and trying to bar me from Wikipedia so that this troublesome person does not trouble them anymore so they can continue the way they have been. Why are you surprised that someone can recognize propaganda? Please come to me with a discussion of the context of the article, not whether I wear different masks. I wear only one face, mine. Also, the Wikipedia principle for disputes is that it is the context that should be discussed, but you did not do that on the article Talk page, neither do I see you doing it here. I will abide by the Wikipedia principle and not comment on why you or anyone else did not. 70.164.212.36 (talk) 20:00, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did mean content, but it came out context.70.164.212.36 (talk) 20:54, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is all public information everyone can see. 184.179.106.251 is still blocked, and the editing pattern and IP location make me think this might be block evasion. Hopefully someone can help clear this up.  // Timothy :: talk  21:59, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no knowledge or comment on any other IP. I do find your insinuation (of "block evasion") offensive however, to use your own language, and I am saddened by it. Do you believe I am the only person in the world sick and tired of anti-Turkish propaganda day in and day out? I am tempted to get in contact with the IP you mention; maybe I can figure out who from their "editing pattern", apparently within your expertise. Can you please help? I am serious, because you seem to know a lot about that IP, or maybe you research in detail whoever makes an edit you do not like and make a chart of who edits what and who some people were able to get blocked. So much for that. I will reply to your other questions on February 3. I had hoped you would get this involved in the Talk page, but you did not. I am not even sure if this is how disputes are handled, and maybe our moderator can guide us in that regard, as I do not wish to see you and Te og kaek keep accusing me and me having to reply as if you are police commissioners. Now, if you have any issues with the content I edited (which you have not addressed so far and keep sidestepping), I will be happy to reply. I would appreciate it though, if you do not use phrases like "most scholars" etc., which I have already debunked in one case (single reference with yet another single reference in the chain) and in another case (book review as reference). By the way, have you also checked into the mysterious IP 79.107.121.185, who has yet to appear in this dispute? Would it be appropriate if I asked you or Te og kaek or someone else if they are associated with that? 70.164.212.36 (talk) 05:45, 3 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To clear up a few points:
  • The content you seek to change/remove has been in the article (e.g. [2],[3],[4]) and remains in the article. The content has references from major publishers.
  • The infobox reflects this longstanding information in the article as it is supposed to. The article mentions "Greeks and Armenians" and the subject of genocide dozens of times.
  • The changes you are attempting to make would fundamentally change the longstanding article content that has been developed by a consensus of Wikipedia editors (see diffs above). The article content has been arrived at through consensus and any editor need consensus to change it.
  • Your changes have been replied to by multiple editors; editors are under no obligation to keep replying to every post you make. You clearly do not have a consensus of editors to make the changes you propose.
  • Since you wish to change the article in a fundamental way, you need to develop a consensus of editors to accept the changes. If you cannot convince a consensus of editors, the changes will remain rejected. Arguing and claiming information and sources you do not agree with is propaganda will not persuade anyone.
  • If you continue to make the changes you propose to the article without persuading a consensus of editors, you will be edit warring.
  • With regard to your particular changes, I've mentioned I agree with Te og kaker comments and there is no reason to repeat these comments.
  • These comments are offensive:
    • I have no problem with you as a moderator, as long as you are not ethnically Turkish, Armenian, or Greek, or are married to one, since I do not want any bias. ... I am a bit concerned that you have listed your religious denomination on your web page. Will this get in the way?[5]
    • The comments made about Armenians here Talk:Burning of Smyrna#Was the Smyrna (İzmir) fire part of a genocide (Greek, Armenian, or Turkish)?
@Liz:, regarding the Wikipedia guidelines I mention above (not the content dispute issue) have I misstated any Wikipedia guideline? Since you protected Burning of Smyrna I figure you are a little involved already.
 // Timothy :: talk  23:14, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me start by saying that I agree wholeheartedly with what Te og kaek wrote in his first sentence, where he wrote, in reference to the article he “came across by coincidence”, that “it was written in a very clearly propaganda-based language”. The edits I made are barely a few percent of the article, so he must have been referring to the rest. Indeed, as you actually admit in your second point above, “The article mentions "Greeks and Armenians" and the subject of genocide dozens of times.”, and I will take your word for it. I did go back to the initial version of the article and worked up, noting how some editors removed what they did not like and converted step by step the content in a manner suitable to their propaganda. For example, Horton’s absence during the fire has been removed and talk about genocide has started creeping in. However, I did not really need to go back to figure out how the article was used for propaganda, as I have already mentioned. I have, to my regret, developed a sixth sense for propaganda over the years, but this is so in your face that no sense was needed.
In regard to your comments about consensus, may I kindly suggest that you go back and read the page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Consensus again, as it appears it has been some time since your last look into that. Having had consensus does not preclude future changes. Suppose I write something about some tribe in Africa, and no one from that tribe reads and objects to it at that time and thus consensus is presumed, until five years later one does read and object. So, what do you think? Frankly, I think Wikipedia consensus needs to be revised, but that is neither here nor there.
Another little fundamental about Wikipedia consensus is that consensus is needed for an edit to remain in the article (but that does not necessarily mean it should always remain). That brought to my mind the change you made, adding an Armenian genocide to the photo caption. Since I rejected that, you cannot assume consensus has been reached. By replacing it again, you have edit-warred with me without Talk. In my case, that can be excused because I am new to Wikipedia, but everything about you say “old hand”, so you have no excuse except that you “forgot”. Would you then kindly start peeling off a layer of propaganda by removing that bit from the caption? It may have been there in the past, but apparently it got removed by your friend “consensus”.
One more item in the consensus page that you appear to have forgotten is that consensus is not a vote, i.e. it does not need N people to approve an edit. In fact, the page is quite clear in that you cannot reject an edit without providing proper explanation as in Talk, which neither you, nor Te og kaek and nor the mysterious IP person have done. So, according to Wikipedia consensus, my edits should stand. You and the other editors (I will refrain from using words such as acquaintances or colleagues) started Talking only after I filed a dispute. However, instead of scientific arguments (such as Horton saw with his own eyes as in here, etc.) you decided to either keep quiet (mystery IP) or to accuse me of various things none of which are true (ok, it may not have been in good taste on my part to ask the moderator regarding ethnicity, but not necessarily a Wikipedia felony.).
I have felt from the beginning that I was being challenged by certain technicalities some editors have a good understanding of, which is fine and I will learn, but how come I was not challenged by historical facts and how come my historically solid references (and “big publishers” too) got the shoddy treatment they received, whereas I had already pointed out really bad references in the article that not even a middle school student would be comfortable with. Are you really comfortable with a book review as a reference? Can you point out to me which consensus left it in place? How about big phrases like “most scholars” “most sources” “widely accepted view” etc. which had no leg to stand on but were only used to impress readers?
You and the other editor accuse me of propaganda, but, in my somewhat learned opinion, it is actually yourselves that are propagating propaganda. You yourself wrote “The article mentions "Greeks and Armenians" and the subject of genocide dozens of times.” Well, if that is not propaganda then what is. Perhaps we should ask a researcher on Goebbels. The times it mentions Turks, on the other hand, is with negative connotation when it relates to post-liberation days. People may think something is true if you repeat it a million times, but that still does not make it true.
In closing before midnight, as I promised, I will again remark that you have, and -in my opinion- severely, violated Wikipedia guidelines in several ways, which I have already discussed, and I will be carrying this all the way to the top if I must. It was a good exercise going through this with you and Te and we will meet again. In the meanwhile, everything you and I wrote on these pages will remain there for every interested fair-minded individual to read and learn from, for the life of Wikipedia.70.164.212.36 (talk) 07:48, 4 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of dispute by 79.107.121.185[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Summary of dispute by Te og kaker[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

I actually came across this article by coincidence and noticed that it was written in a very clearly propaganda-based language, and had obviously been edited by a user with an agenda, and decided to enter the edit history in order to revert to a NPOV version independently of any other users' decisions to do the same previously. The user also falsely claims that I am a "brand new editor" (which is obviously false, as my contribution log goes back to 2013), and has insinuated twice that I am a sockpuppet of a user with which I obviously have no relation. The user also posted a complaint on my talk page in this morning, complaining over the fact that I had not replied to his post on the talk page, which was posted at five o clock in the night - at a time when I don't think it is necessary to tell you that I was sleeping, and I just can't believe that this user actually expected a reply at that point. In fact, I have not had the chance to reply to this user's accusations before now, due to the fact that I was working late today.

It is quite striking that this user is continuing his edit warring on this article; look at the edit history and see how massive the user's edit warring has been. The user has also used at least two different IPs on the talk page and has now also created an account with the purpose of propagating the Turkish narrative of the event (which is supported by very few scholars outside Turkey), making his agenda very obvious, particularly considering that the IP/user has no other edits than the agenda-pushing on this particular article. The narrative propagated as truth by the user has little scholarly support and runs contrary to numerous contemporary eyewitness reports of the burning - yet the user attempts to propagate this narrative as truth.

The edits committed by the user includes

  1. removing "Greek genocide" and "Armenian genocide" from the "part of" rubric of the infobox - this is consistent with the propaganda of Turkey, denying that the Ottoman Empire or Turkey were responsible for any genocide. The user makes it worse by blatantly denying the Armenian genocide altogether on the article's talkpage (he also does this, although slightly more subtly, in the article), consistent with the Turkish government's claim that the Armenian genocide never happened, despite scholarly consensus and widespread documentation that it did happen.
  2. Changing the sourced original sentence "the Muslim and Jewish quarters escaped damage" to "while allegedly the Muslim and Jewish quarters escaped damage" - thus reducing a historical fact to a dubious allegation, although there is really no basis to claim that this is an "allegation".
  3. Changing "most sources and scholars attribute it to Turkish soldiers setting fire to Greek and Armenian homes and businesses" to "some pro-Greek and pro-Armenian sources and scholars" - thus reducing the widely accepted version to a minority viewpoint held by sources with an agenda. The user also adds "often without proper citation as here" to make matters worse, attempting to reduce the widely accepted viewpoint to some kind of historical manipulation. The sentence is also by itself very propaganda-based and unencyclopedic; I doubt any experienced user will give support to including such a loaded statement in any article. It is a personal opinion of the user, and also disregards facts. It also disregards the several eyewitness reports from witnesses who personally saw the Turkish forces set fire to buildings, after ensuring that the wind was blowing away from the Turkish quarters, throwing petrol at buildings, as well as massacring civilians. It also runs contrary to the sources quoted for the statement, who clearly state that "reports from Western observers at the time lead most scholars to place the blame squarely on Turkish soldiers, who were seen igniting Christian-owned businesses in the city", as well as another one which states that "most eyewitness accounts [...] attribute this fire to the Turks". Add to this one of the talk posts from this user, where he falsely claims that only Armenian sources claim Turkish responsibility for the fire (a statement which is clearly false), and also that any Armenian source should be disregarded due to "bias" because they are Armenian, while the user on the other hand seems to not only accept Turkish sources as impartial but also to see them as having higher credibility than the majority of non-Turkish sources.
  4. Changing "a few, Turkish or pro-Turkish" to "some other sources" - thus, in the context of the edit mentioned above, trying to obscure the fact that this is a minority viewpoint which hardly has any scholarly support outside Turkey, which runs contrary to scholarly consensus and eyewitness reports. The user tries to reverse the roles, indicating that the widely accepted view that the Turks started the fire is the actual minority viewpoint not supported by evidence and the Turkish propaganda version the widely accepted view. This is clearly not substantiated.
  5. Removed "Nevertheless, some Turkish sources have accepted Turkish responsibility for the fire" - thus again attempting to discredit the majority scholarly view in favour of the official Turkish explanation.
  6. Added "However, Edward Alexander Powell’s words, [15] regarding the reliability of reports in United States newspapers long used to blaming Turks for every ill, should also be taken into account." - this is an opinion, which does not belong on Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles are not the place for argumentative texts (which this user's version of the article is). Wikipedia editors are obviously not in any position to judge what "should be taken into account".
  7. Replacing "it is widely regarded as an act of genocide and a war crime" with " While a few recent publications attempt to portray the event as part of an alleged genocide [24][25], the controversy as to who started the fire (see e.g. Powell[15], or Prentiss[16]) removes the basis for such a theory." - again, an opinion. Does not belong on Wikipedia which is supposed to have a neutral point of view. The user here claims the right to be the judge of history and be in the position to disregard the majority view of scholars. I am pretty sure that the user himself also understands that this does not belong on Wikipedia.

I don't think I need to elaborate this further. The user's edits is written as an argumentative essay which tries to propagate a point of view. Add to this the user's very argumentative behaviour on talk pages (as well as here), his aggressive edit warring, single-topic editing as well as editing the article as well as the talk page with two IPs as well as an account obviously created for this purpose, as well as claiming to be the victim of a "coordinated effort" against him, repeatedly insinuating that those who revert him are sockpuppets etc. His agenda is very obvious. I am actually a bit surprised that his edit warring has not led to any sanctions against his IP(s) and user account yet. --Te og kaker (talk) 22:47, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This person has clearly confused me with someone else, as I have not, up to this point, used any other means of posting on Wikipedia except from my cell phone while on a long trip as a passenger, although I may open up an account later. As for edit warring, all I can see are rude reversals with very little Talk and very rudimentary edit summaries, plus lately a few by another person (maybe) without any edit summaries at all. So, what was I supposed to do except explain myself better than them and add to the documentation of the Smyrna fire while also attempting to remove what was clearly genocide propaganda.? A Greek genocide or an Armenian genocide may be accepted by some or many, but it is not a universally accepted truth and the fact that Armenian brainwashing continues day after day is the best indication of that. In fact, it is easy to see that countless Wikipedia pages on Turkey and Turks have been infected by Armenian propagandists, and Te og kaker (Te from now on, and I hope that is acceptable) is accusing me of propaganda? When the dispute board volunteers examine my Talk statements and my edit summaries, they will see that I have always tried to explain everything fully, with the proper basis. Not so with the editors who keep reversing everything that tarnishes their genocide propaganda. I have already explained how and why I did my edits and reversals and will not repeat here. As for his 5 o’clock sleep, my schedule and time zone are probably different. Why not reply to me earlier on the article Talk page? As far as Te’s numbered points:
1. Claiming that an event relates to an alleged genocide is interpretation, as on the photo caption, especially with only a one-sided view of culpability for the fire (write only what is on the photo). If they had simply accepted my edit of that, I would probably not have examined further and gone about my everyday life. Asking everyone to accept their view of a genocide and what event does or does not constitute a part of it is propaganda, and this is not only on the photo caption, but, as I found out, throughout the article. Te keeps claiming on their statements that I deny certain things. Denial is not necessarily wrong. I can deny a lot of things and be right all the time, so his argument that I am a denier of what Te believes in makes no sense. It is, however, a standard Armenian propagandist line to blame people in that manner. “blatantly”? not really. I could not care less what the Turkish government thinks or says. I make my decisions only on what I see in the extensive literature available to me . Te also makes claims such as “scholarly consensus” and “widespread documentation” and I would challenge these in that this is “original research” on his part (his POV, interpretation, claim, etc.).
2. Te has no basis on which to claim that the Moslem part of the town escaped damage. How does Te know this to be “a historical fact”, another propaganda phrase? Thus, the word “allegedly”. I do not know everything for a fact and leave possibilities to judgment. Perhaps an AI software could arrive at a single conclusion, not me. This is not math, and many “historical facts” are not.
3. Te’s “widely accepted version” phrase is just another propaganda tool. You may wish to check back to see that whoever infected the article previously used “pro-Turkish”. Te does not seem to have had trouble with that. Also, the “most sources and scholars” phrase was lifted out of a book by an assistant professor at Auburn University, Gregory J. Goalwin, who himself refers to only a single paper by an author who bases her paper on the oral history narrative of a single Smyrniote. So much for “most sources and scholars”. I believe a real scholar can say many, but not most, unless able to count each. By the way, this was one of the only 2 references given to prove this point, the other one being a book review. Thus, my comment “often without proper citation as here”. It must have embarrassed someone, but apparently not Te, as there was later an attempt to replace the book review, which I did not touch but commented on, and I did mention that added references would be welcome if relevant, while undoing the replacement to reach my version of the article. The genocide propagandists own references reduced their POV to a minority viewpoint, not me. Te keeps pushing his POV while claiming that I am. It is a brazen fabrication that I have stated “only Armenian sources claim Turkish responsibility for the fire” in a Talk post and I would like to see Te account for this fabrication. “most scholars”, “most eyewitness accounts”, I have commented on such phrases above. So why did Te remove my eyewitness account of the Near East Relief worker (Prentiss) published in an American newspaper? I did not claim that “Armenian sources should be disregarded due to bias” either. I said “If an Armenian author claims genocide, it is no proof, as s(he) is clearly biased.” Whether anyone disregards them is a completely different thing. I have met face to face with two well-known Armenian authors in civil interaction and my honest experience was that they were both short on facts and one-sided. I have yet to see an even keeled Armenian publication when it comes to Turks and the Ottomans (though Armenians were Ottomans as well). I could write a book to refute Te’s claims here, but I will move on to the next item.
4. Yes, I changed from “a few, Turkish or pro-Turkish” to “some other sources” as see the number of references in my version, which also includes two Americans, one a previous U.S. officer in WWI, and the other a relief worker, and see if that constitutes “a few Turkish or pro-Turkish”, especially when the French commission of inquiry report Powell talks of is added. More is available if needed. Te still talks about “minority viewpoint”, “hardly has any support outside Turkey”, “runs contrary to scholarly consensus” all propaganda talking points to the uninitiated, which he himself has not substantiated and he blames me for it!
5. Yes, I removed the statement starting with “Nevertheless” under the Falih Rıfkı Atay citation since that was a misrepresentation of what he actually wrote. I put in the exact literal translation and Te disagrees with that? Again he claims the standard propaganda phrases of “majority scholarly view” and “official Turkish explanation”. Well, I, for one, have no official standing anywhere and do not care whether I agree with anyone else. How about my explanations?
6. As if everything he wrote in the reply to this dispute is not Te’s opinion, now Te claims that my words to the effect that Powell’s words should be taken into account are my opinion. Yes, they are, and they should be the opinion of many (not most) fair minded people who wish to see both sides of an issue. In any case, this is obviously a reminder to look up his words again. Is that bad?
7. Of course I made that change, since whether or not there is a genocide (not until an international legal body rules on it), a previous editor(s) ruled that the event should be considered a part of a genocide, showing only 2 weak references, one with authors unknown (the editors are). I do not believe that is in line with Wikipedia principles. How can you judge that a century old event is a part of a genocide with 2 very modern references? Plus, who started the fire in the first place is still controversial. Te claims he knows, but I do not claim anything of the sort, though I did mention in Talk that if indeed Powell is correct, then this would be part of a greater Turkish genocide. Te’s talk about neutral point of view does not align well with all his propagandist talk about genocide.
In any case, the bottom line is, some editor(s) started a Wikipedia article on the documentation of the Smyrna fire, and I believe some propagandists have been hijacking it and shifting all the discussion to a genocide propaganda and fighting tooth and nail any attempt to clean the article. Once more, Te is incorrect in claiming that I have used two IPs. No sir/madam, I have only used my laptop and my cell phone. In fact, I shied away from edit-warring and mentioned that in my Talk. So his “obviously” is just about as “obvious” as much of everything else he has said. I rest my case and leave the discussion to the reviewers.70.164.212.36 (talk) 02:37, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Burning of Smyrna discussion[edit]

Please keep discussion to a minimum before being opened by a volunteer. Continue on article talk page if necessary.

Zeroth statement by moderator (Smyrna)[edit]

I may possibly act as the mediator in moderated discussion. First, I will ask the editors to read the usual rules, will comment that the above posts are too long, and will ask a few questions. Do the editors agree to take part in moderated discussion, subject to the rules that have been read? Is this an article content dispute? That is, is there a question about whether to change something in the article or leave it the same? If so, will each editor please state in one paragraph what they want changed or left the same. (If the list of changes is long, summarize and say it is long. If you can't summarize, pause and think and try to sunmmarize.) Be civil and concise. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:07, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for offering to moderate this dispute. I have no problem with you as a moderator, as long as you are not ethnically Turkish, Armenian, or Greek, or are married to one, since I do not want any bias. Also, if you edited the Burning of Smyrna at any time, or if you are not willing to peruse the statements made so far, I would please ask you to not moderate. I am a bit concerned that you have listed your religious denomination on your web page. Will this get in the way? I have described my position in great detail (a) in my edit summaries, (b) in my Talk paragraphs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Burning_of_Smyrna#Was_the_Smyrna_(%C4%B0zmir)_fire_part_of_a_genocide_(Greek,_Armenian,_or_Turkish)? (c) in my dispute opening statement, and (d) in my reply to Te og kaker, and I hope that you will read them in detail. In summary, im my attempt to (1) partially restore the article to what it was meant to be, i.e. documentation of the Smyrna fire, instead of the genocide propaganda some editors have apparently been converting it to, I removed a genocide interpretation on the first photo caption (2) added two sources from U.S. citizens from a century ago, with supporting statements and a quote from Powell's book, to give the reader a better understanding of the controversy as to who started the fire (note that I have respected and not removed any of the references listed before my first edit, except changed the use of two, and that this controversy is already mentioned in the article), (3) corrected an incorrect interpretation of the text from an existing source (Falih Rıfkı Atay) by providing the literal translation, (4) modified a couple of authoritative sounding statements implying genocide and culpability, and (5) pointed out a couple of weak citations, one being a book review. As you may observe, my edits have been quickly reversed with very little explanation. For the purposes of this moderation, beyond a concession I am willing to make, I would like my edits to be added, since I can defend them. I am willing to modify the Powell statement where I used the word "should", so that it will be a neutral statement. For completeness, please also note that two of the three editors I have filed the dispute against have not replied yet, one now showing as "retired" on their web page, and the other apparently having existed only to revert my edits. I did let all three know of the dispute on their personal Talk pages and will not comment further on this here unless asked to. If you feel you cannot follow my edits from my description above and from comparisons, I will be happy to elaborate further. 70.164.212.36 (talk) 09:46, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zeroth statements by editors (Smyrna)[edit]

Statement one-half by volunteer (Smyrna)[edit]

I don't have a good feeling about the prospects for moderated discussion in this case. The filing unregistered editor has, in advance, demanded assurance that the moderator not belong to or be married to certain ethnic groups, and has raised an issue about the moderator's religion. In response to instructions to provide a concise statement as to what each editor wants changed in the article, the filing editor has provided a lengthy statement referring to previous lengthy statements, and has stated that the lengthy statements should be read in detail. I don't belong to any of the ethnic groups, and I don't think that my religion, which is not the historical religious affiliation of any of the indicated ethnic groups, will interfere with my neutrality. However, I do not intend to moderate a dispute when one of the parties starts with a list of demands about the moderator and with a lengthy statement of what they want.

Filing a request for moderated discussion but then imposing a list of conditions for the moderator is not evidence of a good-faith desire to resolve this dispute. I don't think that either a registered editor or an unregistered editor should provide an advance list of conditions for participation in moderation, but that is only my opinion. I will comment that making a long list of conditions isn't in the best interests of an unregistered editor, because one likely result of failure of a request for moderated discussion is semi-protection, but if someone wants to impose preconditions, they will impose preconditions.

I am not opening this case for moderated discussion but am not closing it either. I don't think that the filing unregistered editor will be able to find a moderator, but this case request will be left open for at least a few more days before it is either closed due to the lack of a moderator or archived by the archival bot, which will have the same effect of closing it for lack of a moderator. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:50, 3 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for your thoughts on this. Please allow me to say a few things in regard to your withdrawal from moderation:
1. If the moderator had been an Armenian, say, how would I know that they were, and how could I have protected my side if there was bias in the moderation? You may not be aware that religion plays a big role in related subjects, but it does. For example, Armenians always claim that they were the first Christian nation on earth. For me, religion is for each person, not for everyone else to know, but you have listed it on your page and that is why I asked whether that would get in the way. I believe my concerns were fair and you could have dissipated them easily but chose not to. For the record, I do have Armenian friends.
2. I am quite new to Wikipedia, and I see that the editors with whom I am in dispute appear to be looking for any angle to steer the discussion away from the content of my edits, accusing me of propaganda, block evasion, and of setting forth conditions, while they have been blatantly violating Wikipedia guidelines and will continue to do so. Maybe all people in disputes you have moderated are familiar with all Wikipedia guidelines regarding disputes, and I did read the link you provided for rules on disputes. This link did not mention anything about qualifications for the moderator, and you yourself expected certain things of us that I had no argument with.
3. I did have good faith in how this moderation was going to go, but with the anonymity of the moderator (since the moderation itself and the power of the moderator are unknown to me: links please), as well as the fact that I do not know how a moderator is assigned, I wanted to make sure that the moderator would have no bias. In the link you provided, I did not see any rule saying I cannot expect no bias from the moderator.
4. Why do you "think that the filing unregistered editor will be able to find a moderator"? Why write it that way? How are moderators assigned? Or do volunteers simply decide to moderate a dispute? Can you speak on behalf of others in this regard or possibly bias others with this statement? Can I directly ask for another moderator once you have withdrawn? Is there a moderator board where you (or I) can post that you have withdrawn and that a new moderator is needed? Are you sure that your withdrawal based on my asking for no bias is within Wikipedia guidelines?
5. Wikipedia has a dispute page for the purpose of settling disputes. I am sure management has considered cases such as this one, and that there are solutions, so I will continue seeking for a fair solution, through escalation to higher levels if necessary. Since this is a very important issue for me, I will carry with me everyone involved as I escalate the matter further. This is simply a statement of fact.
6. I will complete my replies to TimothyBlue before the day ends where I live (apparently some editors have already researched it, as I have come across a record of this), so that whoever comes across this dispute page, moderator or not, will see that I have not simply packed and run away because of questions I did not wish to answer.
Thanks again for your time. Absolutely no hard feelings on my side, and if you change you mind we are still here for a while.70.164.212.36 (talk) 19:33, 3 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please also read my last reply to TimothyBlue (February 3 my time, but February 4 Wikipedia time). I wish you had given me the opportunity before deciding to withdraw, but, as I wrote above, no hard feelings. Truth has a way of coming on top.70.164.212.36 (talk) 07:55, 4 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coat of arms of Lithuania[edit]

Symbol wait old.png – New discussion.
Filed by Pofka on 19:55, 2 February 2023 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Have you discussed this on a talk page?

Yes, I have discussed this issue on a talk page already.

Location of dispute

Users involved

Dispute overview

There is a content dispute regarding subsection Coat of arms of Lithuania#Belarus (what should be kept/removed in it). Short context below.

Previously the Belarusian territories were part of Lithuania (see: Grand Duchy of Lithuania), therefore the Belarusians used the Coat of arms of Lithuania until 1795. In 1918 Lithuania was restored and part of Belarusians once again sought to restore pre-1795 Lithuanian territory, therefore institutions such as Lithuanian Ministry for Belarusian Affairs, Grodno Military Command and multiple Lithuanian-Belarusian units were formed (most notably, the 1st Belarusian Regiment which sought to preserve capital Vilnius and Grodno within Lithuanian territory). All of them extensively used the coat of arms of Lithuania as official symbol. Grodno was the third largest city (after Vilnius, Kaunas) where the Lithuanian Army was active and an important stronghold of pro-Lithuanian Belarusians.

However, post-WW1 Poland pursued expansionist aims in the former territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, thus invaded Vilnius, Grodno (and other minor cities). It resulted in repressions against pro-Lithuanian soldiers and Lithuanian symbolism used by them (e.g. on uniforms, flags) and removals of the coat of arms of Lithuania from buildings, etc. Eventually, in 1921 Belarus was partitioned into two parts (Western and Eastern). This is an important part of history of the coat of arms of Lithuania in the interwar period.

All this is currently described in this subsection and with WP:RS references, but Polish users (Marcelus, Piotrus) demand to nearly completely remove content from this subsection and accuses that it is allegedly anti-Polish. However, Lithuanians (I and Cukrakalnis) disagree with such removals and say that it is a well-referenced content and censorship of the Polish repressions against the coat of arms of Lithuania and soldiers using it would be a violation of WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:NPOV.

How have you tried to resolve this dispute before coming here?

How do you think we can help resolve the dispute?

This subsection should be evaluated by a neutral person (administrator?) who is familiar with WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE. I think other subsections in section "Similar coats of arms" should be expanded instead of nearly completely erasing the most comprehensive one about Belarus. Maybe some content from subsection "Belarus" should be moved (if it is WP:UNDUE) to subsection "Republic of Lithuania in the interwar period" as it is important for describing the interwar history of this symbol.

Summary of dispute by Marcelus[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Contrary to what the submitter says, "anti-Polishness" is not the main reason why the content of the "Belarus" section is disputed. Although undoubtedly the text is written in a style that suggests that the reluctant to Poland author wanted to prove something, it describes in specific detail the alleged "insulting" of Belarusian/Lithuanian symbols by the Polish military, or one-sidedly describes the "Polish imperialism" mentioned by Pofka. First of all, however, the section that is supposed to describe CoAs occurring in Belarus that are similar to the Lithuanian CoA devotes almost half the space to describing one of the Belarusian units in the Lithuanian army (which has a separate article 1st Belarusian Regiment). It devotes a lot of space to other Lithuanian institutions (Grodno Military Command, Lithuanian Ministry of Belarusian Affairs), making it more about Lithuania than Belarus, and more about politics than heraldry. In addition, the section's narrative is that Belarus came into being only because of Lithuania's influence and "domination." Pofka's proposal has a similar problem.

@Pofka also forgot to mention that the dispute began with my proposal, in which I tried to eliminate the above-mentioned flaws (User:Marcelus/sandbox5). In it I tried to describe in the first paragraph why Pahonia/Vytis became the national symbol of Belarus and how it took root in the country, after which I listed the Belarusian institutions that used this symbol in chronological order. This was only a proposal, which may be subject to change.

Apart from anything else, I don't understand why Pofka decided to devote two paragraphs of his report to a description of Belarusian-Lithuanian relations and Polish expansionism, I don't know what it brings to our dispute (it is otherwise full of simplifications and misrepresentations). Since it is out of the scope of the section, which is intended to describe "Similiar coats of arms" to "Lithuanian Coat of Arms" in "Belarus", not all the things Pofka mentions. To much politics and military history, not enough heraldry.Marcelus (talk) 22:47, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of dispute by Piotrus[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Summary of dispute by Cukrakalnis[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Marcelus kept removing ([6], [7], [8]) a section claiming that it was "irrelevant", "unrelated" and "off-topic" on 29-30 December 2022. The section in question is obviously relevant to the topic of Coat of arms of Lithuania because it is about how the Lithuanian coat of arms was used by pro-Lithuanian Belarusian civilian institutions and military units in an area that Poland invaded after the Lithuanian government established itself there via military units. During the Polish takeover, the Polish mistreated the coat of arms of Lithuania and replaced them with Polish signs. The mention of this fact attracted the attention of Marcelus in early October 2021 when his reaction to these facts was:

1. "Plus some additional badmouthing of Poland - why even mention some alleged desacralization of the flag in this article? It's completely off-topic"

2. "the article is suppose to be about history of coat of arms, not an excuse to spread anti-Polish propaganda. I seriously doubt if you are able to be impartial enough to write articles on Wikipedia"

Based on this, it is clear that Marcelus wants to remove the section because he considers it "anti-Polish propaganda" etc. Still, because this argument was insufficiently convincing for the removal of text based on WP:RS more than a year ago, then Marcelus has now re-opened the question and shifted the argument to emphasize how text concerning military and civilian institutions using the Coat of arms of Lithuania is somehow irrelevant to an article about that same coat of arms.

After the discussion inconclusively stalled (which is what generally happens in discussions between anyone and Marcelus within the topic of Lithuania), Piotrus after writing briefly on the talk page swooped in to remove the section on January 20 during a still active RfC. I frankly gave up on this issue and only raised some questions about the correctness of such a removal on the talk page that same day and since then was on a brief holiday away from Wikipedia (since January 25 until today, Febuary 5), partly in order to WP:DEESCALATE.

Notably, Piotrus previously had not edited the article at all since 14 October 2005 and his last message on the talk page before his edits on 20 January 2023 was on 15 September 2020. I'm not accusing anybody of anything, but Piotrus has involved himself more than once in places ([9], [10]) where Marcelus was extensively involved before Piotrus came along. This exchange on Marcelus' wiki.pl talk page between Marcelus and Piotrus definitely indicates that they have each other's emails.

Meanwhile, while I was away, Pofka decided to involve himself into this. Unsurprisingly so, because he had been a very active contributor to the article, with his last contribution to it being on 3 March 2022, just twelve days before he was temporarily topic banned since 15 March 2022 due to a report by Marcelus. Pofka successfully appealed the ban and it was lifted on January 12. Then, he became involved on January 29 and the new reignited discussion resulted in the talk page size growing from 133,749 bytes on January 20 to 174,703 bytes on February 2 (no one edited the talk page since then, as of now).

Overall, after some thought, I agree to Pofka's proposals because they seem reasonable.--Cukrakalnis (talk) 16:04, 5 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of dispute by GizzyCatBella[edit]

Please keep it brief - less than 2000 characters if possible, it helps us help you quicker.

Coat of arms of Lithuania discussion[edit]

Please keep discussion to a minimum before being opened by a volunteer. Continue on article talk page if necessary.