Commons:Categories for discussion/Current requests/2009/06/Carlos Latuff

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Carlos Latuff[edit]

Carlos Latuff cartoons arbitration[edit]

It seems clear that Drork and Adambro will never be able to agree on categorization of the Latuff images, and that neither is prepared to give way. If the parties were more flexible, mediation would be a possibility but even with the help of a mediator the parties are not realistically going to come to any settlement. The current situation is leading people to talk about blocks, which we as a community ought to avoid if at all possible, particularly as both parties are good contributors here.

I suggest that the issue be settled by means of arbitration. The following proposal is loosely based on the procedures adopted by the International Chamber of Commerce's International Court of Arbitration:

1. Drork and Adambro have seven days to agree between them the names of three Commons users to form an arbitration panel. Panel members can be selected only if they agree to serve. If no agreement on all three names can be reached within that period, Drork and Adambro will then have 48 hours to nominate one panel member each (not themselves). If either party declines to nominate, the other party shall nominate both. The two nominated panel members will between them appoint the third.

2. Once the panel has been appointed, Drork, Adambro, and anyone else who cares to comment may submit proposals for the way in which cartoons by Carlos Latuff (including File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg) should be categorized, and whether there should be a gallery for his images. Suggestions may also be made as to how, in general, disparaging files relating to living individuals should be categorized.

3. The panel will then decide the issue. The decision need not be one of the suggestions already proposed. If the panel is unable to agree, it will decide by majority vote between the existing suggestions already made by Drork and Adambro. The panel may also set out the way in which similar files should be categorized in the future, whether cartoons or other disparaging material relating to a living public individual.

4. The panel's decision will be final and binding on Drork and Adambro, and both pledge in advance that they will not attempt to undermine that decision. The decision will also be binding on the community as a whole, based on the community's acceptance of this arbitration proposal.

5. This proposal comes into force only if agreed in full by both Drork and Adambro (otherwise we are wasting our time), and only if it is approved by a consensus of the wider community (otherwise, any decision will not stick). After a reasonable time for comments and votes, a bureaucrat will close the discussion and, if it is approved, will start the procedure. The panel shall have the power to modify time limits or to make such other modifications to the procedure as it thinks fit.

I am advertising this at Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems#Users Drork and Adambro as well, where there has been some recent discussion. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Support the proposal[edit]

  1. Support A novel idea. Since at least one admin has otherwise recently proposed banning both D and A from the subject area otherwise, this seems clearly worth a try. --GRuban (talk) 17:46, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support --AFBorchert (talk) 12:47, 17 June 2009 (UTC) See below for my comment.
  3. Worth trying. ++Lar: t/c 02:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support, we definitely need a way of closing this issue once and for all. –Tryphon 14:12, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Oppose the proposal[edit]

  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The proposal as currently presented stated "The decision will also be binding on the community as a whole, based on the community's acceptance of this arbitration proposal". I understand it meant the whole community should obey the decission of a panel of three users. It doesn't explain what others users could do if they disagreed with the panel's decission. (Please excuse if I haven't understood it well, and if I haven't expressed my point in proper English) --Javier ME (talk) 22:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I don't think there should be binding content decisions of three users (BTW chosen by Drork and Adambro who both are not exteriorization of community) to another users or whole community. Arbitration could solve only their behavior to each other, not the content and categorization. Drork and Adambro represent only their point of view, not some "groups" involved in Latuff's images dispute. What is more problems between Drork and Adambro are not limited only to Latuff's images. --Dezidor (talk) 13:07, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Just apply COM:CAT. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:37, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
  4. These two shouldn't be able to name the people who decide what is binding for the community. I'm ok with them naming the people who decide what binds them. Samulili (talk) 14:52, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I oppose this proposal because of the reservations both myself (see below) and the others have about it. I don't think it would be right for the strong opinions of myself and Drork to restrict this issue to simply a panel of three users. As I've indicated, if my opinion would be detrimental to the rest of the community in this way then I will happily refrain from commenting on this issue. I would propose that instead of focusing on the two individuals who have been amongst the most vocal about this issue, we focus on the issue itself and allow the community as a whole to decide. I propose this could initially take the form of a number of statements which we invite the community to express whether they endorse similar to the "Findings of fact" used as part of the Arbitration process on Wikipedia, such as "Categories are tools for organising content related to the subject of the category", or perhaps "Adding content to a category is simply a recognition that the content is related to category's subject, not an endorsement of what the content portrays". Just quick ideas but hopefully demonstrate what might be put forward. We could leave that process to run for a week or two and then hopefully have a good flavour of the consensus of the community. I'm not sure how we'd proceed from there but hopefully someone else will be able to suggest how this process could work in greater detail. Adambro (talk) 15:05, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I spotted this on the general discussion board and have little interest in it, but I don't think it is wise to allow any two people from an edit war to nominate who will write policy for Wikimedia Commons. Even if it were truly necessary to elect a triumvirate to set policy, it would still be best to elect it by a consensus of all users.
I should also note that there is a straightforward solution here. I think we can at least agree the parody is not actually a picture of this Alan Dershowitz or a portrayal of his actions. Therefore, it does not belong directly in that category. It should go in a more specific subcategory Category:Parody of Alan Dershowitz or the like, which can then be linked indirectly from Category:Alan Dershowitz. That way Wikimedia Commons keeps a certain bare minimum of dignity without being overly censorious toward those looking it up by the name.
I think that many of us (myself especially) are quite careless about setting categories, and there are plenty of oddities like Category:Disease incidence United States maps within Category:Disease incidence maps of the United States which are in need of fixing. It is a great pity that two people who actually care about getting the categories straightened out would spend their time opposing one another. Mike Serfas (talk) 11:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


I am not happy with how this situation is being presented. To present it in this way is to fall into the trap Drork has set. This is not a straightforward argument between me and Drork, there are a large number of editors who are involved and have been more active than me in changing the categorisation of images rather than focussing on trying to discuss it. Drork has simply chosen to try to harass me with constant accusations about misusing my admin rights and his paranoid suggestions of me being part of a conspiracy to try to dissuade me from trying to deal with some of disruption he has been causing.

For example, quite recently, Drork removed {{dr}} notices from images where the deletion request was still ongoing and then continued to remove them after I reinstated them and explained why they should remain. He used the Category:Alan Dershowitz talk page as a soapbox and complained when I deleted this misuse of a talk page he stated that if File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg remains in the category then admins "must allow people to protest against it". He then complained on Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems that I was apparently abusing my admin rights, a claim which lacked any credibility whatsoever. Again, quite recently, due to the failure of a long running campaign to have these images deleted of which he is a prominent figure, he uploaded a number of images as what he described as a "protest" about the existence of these images. Clearly such a "protest" is an inappropriate use of Commons and the "protest" images obviously beyond the scope of the project. As such, I deleted them and Drork's response was to again claim that I'd abused my admin rights.

Drork just simply does not respect the project or its community, as has been clearly demonstrated by his reaction to the failed deletion requests and by his recent threat to involve the media when he ran into difficulties with an unrelated issue.

I would acknowledge that in some instances my actions have lacked transparency because I've expressed my strong opposition to Drork's campaign but it is important to recognise that, not only do we not have an endless collection of uninvolved admins, such a user might not have the understanding of the background to enable them to take the appropriate action, and nor may they wish to become involved because of the harassment that seems to result. It is because I am one of a few admins that has both the background understanding of Drork's long campaign against the Latuff images, and that I am not scared to stand up against him, that he sees me as an obstacle to his campaign and as such an appropriate target. He is trying to do all he can to either force me to not deal with these issues or to simply give up doing so through frustration. Additionally, it would seem that he tries to create as much hassle as possible, so that presumably if he isn't able to convince the community to delete the images he doesn't like by his arguments, he might succeed by frustrating everyone.

What we need, and have probably needed all along, is simply a broader community discussion on the categorisation of these images, without framing it as if it is just a dispute between two users when that isn't the reality of the situation. It is for the community as a whole to decide how we resolve the issue of categorisation, not a panel of three users. Adambro (talk) 18:02, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed that it's not a dispute between two users. Let's say there are others on each side. It is, however, a dispute that has been going on for a while, which the community has not been able to resolve. Appointing representatives to settle the issue is not a perfect solution, but it is a novel and bold idea that is worth a try. Surely we don't want this dispute to either go on forever or be resolved by blocking otherwise constructive users, do we? --GRuban (talk) 18:29, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Adambro, this is simply a continuation of your fixed opinion that you are in the right. You need to take a step back now and let others make a final decision. As an admin you should know better than most that the opinion of no single individual is more important than the health of the Commons community. You have presented your arguments very clearly and will have the opportunity to do so again. If you are right, you must have confidence that a neutral panel will uphold your view. If you don't have that confidence, and consider that any neutral proposal is to fall into a "trap", you need to ask yourself why it is you feel that you alone, of all Commons users, are capable of grasping the true situation. The alternative is likely to be a community ban for both of you, as has already been suggested, and block(s) are not out of the question if there is more edit warring. Wide community discussion has been going on for months, and it is the two of you who are leading it. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:39, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I stand by my comments, in particular my assertion that Drork have acted to try to force me to not participate in Latuff related issues. He has succeeded. I don't contribute to Commons to be subjected to the kind of harassment that Drork has engaged in. Hopefully, eventually, either he will improve his behaviour or the community will deal with him appropriately. As such, I will no longer edit any Carlos Latuff images nor comment on their categorisation. I do though reserve the right to comment in any related deletion requests. I will reverse my reinstatement of the protection of File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg so that it can be clear that the categorisation can be decided by the community as whole. I am tired of this. Adambro (talk) 19:39, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Adambro, if you just walk away who is going to lead the arguments you have championed? You seem to suggest you are giving up and letting Drork have his way. Bear in mind that many users won't care about the issues at all and will go along with almost anything for a quiet life. I urge you not to give up but to support the proposal - which will give your view a fair hearing. It is not right for one side to win by default. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:58, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Michael that a panel of three users who haven't got yet involved in this issue could reach further or better than the two users who haven't been able to reach an agreement... but I must agree with Adambro that a broader community discussion would be even better. I don't think a decission taken by just three users should prevent others from categorising caricatures under the category of the person portrayed. --Javier ME (talk) 22:52, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not think that a simple consensual process will do here as all previous attempts in the conflicts around this image failed. See this log to see how none of the decisions was broadly accepted afterwards. We cannot allow this to disrupt our community ad infinitum and need a process that is widely accepted and that puts an end to these conflicts. The only alternative I see is a regular poll but I think that MichaelMagg's proposal has more options in solving this and could be indeed the better approach. --AFBorchert (talk) 06:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. It seems clear following several months of pretty bitter argument that the idea of some "community consensus" that can be reached if we all try hard enough is a mirage. This is an issue where there are strong views held on both sides, and not only by Drork and Adambro. Doing nothing and allowing edit wars to continue is not a good option, and neither is blocking individuals. My guess is that there is a significant section of the community that will be prepared to accept either option, provided that it sticks and avoids further edit wars. Hence this proposal. As in a "real" arbitration or court case, the decison will not please everyone but the need to avoid this argument festering is in my view even more important than the fact that some users will inevitably be unhappy whatever the outcome. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:40, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree this is not an issue between me and Adambro. This is an issue that was discussed several times in large forums. In the most recent discussion, users were ask to decide whether the above mentioned image should be deleted. The majority said no (although there was a significant minority in favor), but there was also a strong voice in favor of changing the categorization of the image. This voice is currently ignored after Adambro returned the situation to what it used to be and locked the page. I don't mind that someone neutral will look into this issue and provide a solution. I don't know who this person might be. Drork (talk) 18:12, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I had a search through Commons:Deletion requests/File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg reopen for any matches for "categ" which will I assume give a good flavour of where categorisation was discussed. Categorisation is certainly discussed on a large number of occasions, particularly by you and myself, but I find it hard to see how it can be said to support the removal of File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg from the Alan Dershowitz category without any further discussion as you have suggested. All can be really concluded from the mentions of categorisation at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Alan dershowitz by Latuff.jpg reopen is that it is an issue perhaps worthy of more attention. This is why, in the absence of any consensus to remove the category either from the deletion request or the image's talk page, I reinstated the categories and protected the page so as to prevent further changes which lacked consensus. I have now since removed the protection so it can be clear that I have not tried to impose my position but recognise that it might need to be protected again even without any further contributions from me. Attempts to establish a consensus on the talk page to remove this image from Category:Alan Dershowitz have consistently failed, the deletion request doesn't demonstrate a consensus to do this either. Adambro (talk) 18:42, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
There were people suggested this image should be under "Antisemitic caricatures" or "Anti-Israeli caricatures". This suggestion was rejected due to possible libel suite on behalf of Latuff. There were other expression of discontent with the way this image is categorized. There was absolutely no consensus regarding the current categorization of this image, and since new suggestions were proved impractical, any controversial category should be removed. There is no possibility to open a new discussion on the talk page, because people have just expressed their opinion in a special lengthy and detailed discussion. You cannot expect people to get involved in so many discussions over and over again. As for your removal of the page block - should someone remove the controversial categories, will you revert and block again? Drork (talk) 04:17, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
You say there "was absolutely no consensus regarding the current categorization of this image", what was really the case was that there was no consensus as to how the categorisation should be changed. The discussion didn't provide a clear consensus as to how the categorisation should be and so it shouldn't be changed. The fact that there wasn't a consensus about this presumably means that some expressed they were happy with the current categorisation and/or unhappy with the proposed changes. You can't justify removing "controversial" categories where the community haven't come to an agreement about it. What makes them controversial is that some want them removed whilst others don't, so the categories being controversial certainly cannot justify removing them. What you are basically doing is proposing their removal, being unable to get a consensus to do so but then removing them anyway because not everyone has agreed with you. You must realise that this isn't how things work. This has been perhaps caused some of the difficulties with dealing with this issue and is why the page has been protected on numerous occasions because not being able to get consensus to remove categories means they shouldn't be removed. I don't want you, others, or myself to have to be constantly engaged in discussions about this but a fundamental problem is your inability to recognise that where a change is discussed and consensus doesn't emerge to support that change it shouldn't be made. The problem is that despite this, you've continued to make these changes and so get asked to explain yourself, at which point we simply repeat the same old arguments that have continuously failed to find a consensus to support the changes. Until you respect the consensus, or rather lack of it to support your proposed change, this is going to continue to cause problems for all of us.
Regarding the protection of the page, I've already said that I won't be participating in changing this or the categories themselves but should someone remove categories where that action is unsupported by consensus then I would expect someone else to deal with that appropriately which could be by simply reverting it, reinstating the page protection or blocking the user. Adambro (talk) 09:00, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • First of all Adambro, please try to be more concise. I am not known for writing short messages myself, but still, these discussions go on and on and on, and it is impossible to follow them with such long messages.
  • The only people who participate in this particular discussion are those interested in promoting Latuff's cartoons - either the people who uploaded the images, or lobbied for keeping them whenever someone suggested to delete them or change the way they are displayed. The idea of splitting the discussion into deletion discussion, then undeletion discussion, then discussion about categories, then discussion about unblocking the page, then adding an irrelevant category and discussing its removal (it happened before), is, in my opinion, a kind of method to make these images overly visible. Naturally, those who object the way these images are displayed, get tired and leave. I am the only person who still bother to worry about the damage that these images cause to this project, and I am pretty tired myself.
  • The way the image is categorize now implies, strongly, an endorsement of the view expressed in this drawing. You cannot deny it. Just find any ten people and ask them. You'll see this is how people perceive it. I am not the first to express this concern, and I am not the only one to ask that irrelevant categories be removed to reduce the damage caused by this image. These request are always answered with aggressive rejection.
  • A consensus is needed for categorizing an image. In case there is no consensus - the category drops. In this case there is no consensus. You try to overturn the rule in order to get your way.
  • The only reason this cartoon is here, is to show the scathing nature of Latuff's drawing. This was said explicitly in the deletion discussion. Therefore, there is no use categorizing it under "Alan Dershowitz" or "Male masturbation". You might as well categorize it under "American people", "sperm", "People that Latuff hates", "hobbies", "activities religiously forbidden", "necrophilia" and I can think of many other possible redundant categories. The truth is that only "Latuff" is relevant, nothing else. Drork (talk) 09:59, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
I would apologise about the sometimes lengthy nature of my comments but I only say what I consider necessary to demonstrate the basis for making a point in the hope that doing so will mean it I don't need to clarify why I have said something later on. Despite this, I have already on a number of occasions answered some of the points you make. Your point about perceptions for example, so I won't repeat myself so as to prevent these discussions being any longer than needed.
I would again suggest that you don't understand how the idea of consensus works on the WMF projects. The numerous discussions have demonstrated that there is not consensus to remove the categories as you proposed. That means they shouldn't be removed because if we then had a discussion about adding the categories, that same consensus that the categories are appropriate would be very likely to emerge so to remove them without consensus is simply a waste of everyone's time. There is no rules that says if a number of editors suggest a category should be removed but are unable to find consensus to support that action that it should go ahead anyway. If you are able to learn to respect consensus then this problem will be instantly resolved because you won't continue to remove the category without consensus to support that action and nor will you continue with the same old arguments as to why you feel it should be removed because they didn't result in a consensus to support the removal previously. Additionally, if you don't wish to alienate large numbers of users, you might want to avoid suggesting that everyone who discusses these issues is "interested in promoting Latuff's cartoons". I, as I suspect will be the same with many others, am not a fan of Latuff's work, nor am I interested in trying to promote his work. Adambro (talk) 10:21, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
We seem do have a profound disagreement about what a consensus is. A consensus is a status quo to which no one objects, or in a less ideal state of affairs - none of those who object can bring good sound arguments against it. In this case there are people who object the status quo, and they have good sound arguments. Had we taken your approach, anyone could introduce any change anywhere, and claim there is no consensus about reverting it. By the way, I objected this categorization from the very beginning, so no one can say there used to be a consensus at some point.
There seem to be a group of users who protect Latuff's images by monitoring changes made to their pages very closely. This is not an assumption, this is a matter of fact. Rarely have I encountered such close monitoring on a WM project, and it mostly by the same users. As I said, this is a matter of fact. I already stated above the problems that this situation creates. Drork (talk) 13:31, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
You are correct that there are a group of users interested in protecting Latuff's images and I would certainly describe myself as one of them. It certainly doesn't make me a fan of the images or Latuff himself. You don't note though that there are also another group of users who seem to be part of a long running campaign to attack these images in any way possible.
Your interpretation of how consensus works is an interesting one. A consensus is not "a status quo to which no one objects" nor a situation where no one can "bring good sound arguments against it". Consensus is a "general agreement" or is "the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned". It is not possible to say whether your arguments are sound or not since obviously those who disagree don't think so. You are simply making a proposal, a proposal which seems cannot be said to have been accepted generally or by most of those concerned. There is no consensus to support the removal of the categories so the implication has to be that there is consensus to keep them.
You say that if we take my approach "anyone could introduce any change anywhere, and claim there is no consensus about reverting it". Well, it is true to a certain extent that anyone can change anything and if the undoing of their change is objected to then consensus needs to emerge to support the undoing. Adambro (talk) 14:43, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't think this page was meant for you two to have this argument all over again. By now you both have very clearly stated you positions, and made it very clear that you won't budge an inch; that's precisely why this proposal has been made, to attempt and solve this dilemma. It would be great if you could comment further on the proposal. If you disagree with it, try and make suggestions improve it. If you made up your mind already, then cast you vote on the support/oppose section above. Developing your arguments further without having a protocol on how to reach a decision and make it stick is simply useless. –Tryphon 14:10, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I've now more formally noted my opposition to the process in its current form and suggested a potential alternative that would allow for greater community input and a focusing on the issues rather than the contributors involved. I do however consider it appropriate that I respond to any comments Drork makes on this page because it could help to clarify this issue. Adambro (talk) 15:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't object this issue be reviewed by a person who was not involved in the discussions regarding Latuff's cartoons, and that his decision be final. I cannot come up with a name right now. Drork (talk) 09:34, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Closing stale thread. BTW header links to gallery rather than the category Category:Carlos Latuff. -- User:Docu at 13:53, 17 November 2009 (UTC)