Difference between revisions of "NSWiki:Arbitration/Syskeyia"

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(Motion to reopen: policy enforcement)
(Motion to reopen: oppose)
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'''Sysops opposed to reopening''':
'''Sysops opposed to reopening''':
#[[User:Knootoss| |Knoot]]|[[User talk:Knootoss|KNOO<small>talk</small>]] 04:52, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT) (will explain on irrssi tonight. prolly.)
#[[User:Knootoss| |Knoot]]|[[User talk:Knootoss|KNOO<small>talk</small>]] 04:52, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT) (will explain on irrssi tonight. prolly.)
#As the parties of this arbitration don't consider this case appropriate for reopening. -- [[User:Wilem Engelking|Wilem Engelking]] 15:57, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)

Latest revision as of 11:57, 16 December 2004

This case is no longer active. #Motion to reopen filed by Goobergunch|? on 01:21, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT).

Arbitrators will be working on a proposed decision at /Proposed decision.

Articles involved in this dispute: Der Angst, Knootian independence, Nineteenth century Knootoss, SeOCC, Utrecht

Statement of complaint

First some notes:

  • I will not be acting in my capacity of a Sysop in the matter regarding Religion in Tanah Burung as I have become an involved party.
  • Tanah Burung did not request arbitration. Starting arbitration procedure was a policy decision which was made, again, without my involvement as a sysop.


  1. Syskeyia has a tendency to vandalize articles of other players with references to RL and silly comments. Evidence about this is presented here. Since Syskeyia has apparently not responded to previous warnings, I urge that something be done to remedy the situation.
  2. The second issue has been withdrawn after consultation with other sysops, as it seems to be moving through other channels.

-- |Knoot|KNOOtalk 22:02, 22 Oct 2004 (GMT)

Again, evidence here: Evidence by the plaintiffs

Statement by affected party

  • I apologize for saaying "F----ian" was one of SeOCC's major languages. The "joke," which was aimed at SeOCC's player's fondness for the particular swear word, was childish, immature. stupid, wrong, and possibly immoral. I repent, and apologize.
  • As for my alleged "vandalism," this has to do with the relation of NS and RL history. In my opinion, RL history is like a book, and NS players are like authors - they are free to add chapters, scenes, charatcers, and so on provided they fit into the RL history "plot" in a plausible manner; seriously altering what has already been written,especially the denial of RL events, however, is a different matter. Knootoss, Der Angst, and others have done the latter in their "past histories." I tend not to dwell on this issue that much, believing that IC this is, at most, a squabble among Syskeyian and other scholars regarding history books and the like - Syskeyian scholars believe Spain owned Holland, etc, and the "Knootian Declaration' et al as fabrications, while Knootian scholars believe vice versa, and they argue amongst themselves while everyone else goes about their daily lives. Knootoss et al, however, assert their alteration of history as the NS truth. I simply wish to point out that not everybody in the NS world accepts their historical alterations as fact, and leave the decision on which is the NS truth (if they believe such truth exists at all) up to them.
  • As for the Tanah Burung situation, I have several things to say. First, as a RL Roman Catholic I refuse to RP a NS Catholic Church which differs fundamentally with the RL one. I do, however, respect the decisions of those who do otherwise. While I have great respect for Holy Vatican See's RPing skills, I have chosen to ignore him because he does not RP John Paul II, the current RL pontiff. Also, the Catholic Church has traditionally condemned homosexuality, and I believe that Knootoss' suggestion that the reference be changed to 'some elements of the Church' would portray those who condemn homosexuality - a condemnation that the Catholic Church has maintained for millennia - as in the same league as aged "hillbillies" who believe cars are a work of the devil and the American Civil War never ended, and such. Furthermore, I understand HVS' actions regarding the Tanah Burung Church's activities to be a toleration of vice, rather than a condoning of virtue; this toleration, in my speculation, is derived somewhat from Tanah Burung's status as a third world country and HVSs' pontiff's failed ambition to be a missionary. Nevertheless, I do not think it to be a violation of the neutral point of view to say that the Catholic Church has traditionally condemned homosexuality.

~ Syskeyia


Additional comments by Knootoss

In reply to the initial statement of Syskeyia regarding the alleged vandalism I would like to make an addition to the case.

In the opinion of Syskeyia, this has to do with "the relation of NS and RL history." It is not exactly the first time that this issue has been raised. In fact, Syskeyia has raised this issue every single time a history thread was made by me, Tanah Burung, DA or Lavenrunz. And the discussion has been the same time and again, and nobody has actually ever agreed with Syskeyia, and with good reason. Please allow me to elaborate.

As a player, you can have whatever view you like regarding NS history. Fractal reality (eloquently described in the article) is usually applied in such cases. (Scolo refers to 'the Break', which is an interesting idea but it is not used by all.) Syskeyia is comepletely free to claim that he fought in World War II. Several players have made some interesting points about why it is impossible to say that "history goes on undisturbed" when you fight with millions of troops in WWII, but that is his choice. Basically this is because only the player can say what a nation is like.

As such, claiming that another nation is Spain or putting ("Or Holland") behind "Knootoss" is godmodish and disrespectful of their original idea. Knootoss is not the Netherlands. Lavenrunz is not Spain. Der Angst did not encounter Napoleon. Why? Because the players say it is so. If I say that my constitution was written in 1581 and if I have actually agreed on a whole backstory in cooperation with other players then others should not be second-guessing it at every turn.

To give you an example, I could hypothetically think religion only serves to make people unhappy. Hence, all Syskeyians should be very unhappy. Do you see me editing in bits that "Some believe that millions of people commit suicide because of their depressive, fundamentalist religion. Syskeyian government denies this". Or "some believe that, despite the economic stats they present, IFTA economies are in a deep recession because communism does not work."

Answer: No. Why not? Because it is your history and your nation. I think this precedent that already exists in NS should be extended to NSWiki because, with the ability to edit in stuff, it becomes all the more relevant.

Sure, I would like to remind my fellow Sysops, we can disagree on descriptive matters. Certainly we can disagree on how something that was roleplayed could be summarised. The spirit of NSWiki is to edit each others remarks. However, this is about things which have been individually made up about ones own nation. In the opinion of this plaintiff, claims about ones own nation, independent of ANYTHING that relates to others or involves others, ought to be respected at least on a basic level. -- |Knoot|KNOOtalk 20:10, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT)

Additional comments by Syskeyia

OK, for one thing, I never claimed I had "millions of troops" in WWII. But I see your point. As for "people can do whatever they want<' don't you think there is a limit to that? What about all those tyrants who think that their whole population is fanatically devoted to them? The only thing I have a problem with is when people I RP with go and remove events from history. Why? Because I don't want to accept their alterations of history, but I still want to RP with them. So there my dilemma, and my reason for butting in every single one of your historical threads.

And Napoleon did kick your arse. :p ~Syskeyia


Anyone, whether directly involved or not, may add evidence to this page. Please choose an appropriate header for your evidence and sign your comments with your name.

It is extremely important in order that your submitted evidence be considered by the Administrators that when you cite evidence to provide a link to the exact edit which displays the transaction, links to the page itself are not sufficient. For example, to cite the edit by Rezo to the article Der Angst expanding the Education section use this form: [1] [1] (http://ns.goobergunch.net/wiki/index.php?title=Der_Angst&curid=1012&diff=0&oldid=8642).

This section is not for general discussion - for that, see the comments.

If you disagree with some evidence you see here, please provide counter-evidence, or an explanation of why the evidence is misleading. Please do this under a seperate header, to seperate your response from the original evidence.

Be aware that the Administrators may at times rework this page to try to make it more coherent. If you are a participant in the case or a third party, please don't try to refactor the page, let the Arbitrators do it. If you object to evidence which is inserted by other participants or third parties please voice your objections on the comments page. It is especially important to not remove evidence presented by others.

Evidence by the plaintiffs

Syskeyia has been misbehaving here for a while. Yes, he has made some useful contributions (which I welcome) but on the other hand I have to check every single entry he makes for childish comments and (sometimes) vandalism. Examples:

As a normal user (not as a sysop) I'd recommend that something be done about all of this. From our warnings AND all the reverting edit comments it should be abundantly clear that we did not want such edits. (And he reads the reverting edits, since he uses them himself to reply to MY reverting edits so it is IMO a bit difficult to feign ignorance on that matter.)

Now, seperate from this is the matter of the Tanah Burung entry. See the corresponding talk page and edit history. It has been decided that this will not be a matter for arbitration. - |Knoot|KNOOtalk 21:52, 22 Oct 2004 (GMT) -- |Knoot|KNOOtalk 20:39, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT)

Additional evidence

In addition to the already standing evidence, I would like to point to the talk page of the Knootian independence article, the discussion starting after Syskeyia made more edits: See here. These edits have been reverted in the meantime.

Evidence by the respondants

Evidence submitted by third parties

Knootian Independence was just altered by User:Syskeyia Frisbeeteria Θtalk 00:43, 25 Oct 2004 (GMT) -Sorry. ~Syskeyia

Preliminary decision

Comments by administrators on hearing this matter (2/0/1/0)

  • As this is the first-ever arbitration case being heard by the NSwiki administrative team, let me make a few comments about the arbitration process before beginning. First, arbitration is the last step in dispute resolution, meaning that it shouldn't even be taken up unless all other options have been exhausted. The administrative team reserves the right to refer arbitration cases to an earlier form of dispute resolution before taking action.
    • NSwiki:Requests for comment - The RfC page isn't used much, so I'm not going to really consider it in this case. However, I have added a reference to the cases in question to that page.
    • NSwiki:Current surveys - Before arbitration is activated, I think it might be wise to gauge community opinion with some kind of opinion survey in these matters. Therefore, at this point I'm inclined to defer arbitration until some kind of survey on the Category:Religions page is held.
I referred Knootoss to this page after he requested that I take administrative action against Syskeyia in the IRC chat - the proper way to request administrative action when it's not blatant vandalism is through arbitration. Note that (based on U.S. Supreme Court and Wikipedia Arbitration Committee precedent) it takes (majority of admins)-1 admins, which is currently 2 administrators, to agree to take an arbitration case. In the interest of establishing a coherent arbitration precedent, I will vote to take this case, especially given that altering the histories of other nations seems to be a case under our jurisdiction. --Goobergunch|? 18:17, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT)
I also believe that arbitration should be taken, as it will establish a coherent precedent.--Defaultia 18:50, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT)

This case was declared open on 19:20, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT). Goobergunch|? 19:33, 23 Oct 2004 (GMT)

Temporary injunction

User:Syskeyia is hereby forbidden to edit the articles Der Angst, Knootian independence, Nineteenth century Knootoss, and Utrecht until a final arbitration order is entered. If he does so, his edit shall be immediately reverted and he shall be blocked for twenty-four hours.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 25 October 2004

Final decision


1) Players have the right to determine the backstory of their own nations, and other players attempting to alter the backstory of nations that they do not control are engaging in godmoddery. Honest attempts to update another nation's backstory should still be permitted, as this is in the spirit of NSwiki, but substantive changes should be discussed beforehand on that article's Talk page, and the decision of the Nation owner should be considered final. Note: This should not be used to establish precedent for Regions, Alliances, Wars, or other shared roleplay where there is no clear owner.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004

2) NSwiki, insomuch as it provides a resource for NationStates RolePlay, should not accept edits that promote godmoddery.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004

3) Nations in NationStates have no direct correspondence to real-world nations unless the players behind them specifically say that they do.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004

Findings of fact

1) User:Syskeyia has used the IP address of to edit NSwiki and the edits of User: are by the same person as the edits of User:Syskeyia.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004

2) User:Syskeyia's edit at ([2] has altered User:Knootoss's account of his nation's backstory, which promotes godmoddery and is against NSwiki policy.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004

3) User:Syskeyia's edit at [3] conflates the NationStates nations Lavenrunz and Knootoss with the real-life nations of Spain and Holland despite the opinions of the players behind the nations to the contrary.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 23 October 2004


1) User:Syskeyia shall be prohibited from editing the articles Knootian independence and Utrecht for a period of six months unless explicit permission is granted by User:Knootoss for the edits in question.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 25 October 2004

2) User:Syskeyia shall be prohibited from editing the article Der Angst for a period of six months unless explicit permission is granted by User:Rezo for the edits in question.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 25 October 2004

3) User:Syskeyia shall be prohibited from editing any article: describing the history of a nation or the nation itself in such a fashion as to suggest that the nation in question is related to any real-life nation, or the history of the nation in question is related to any real-life event or events, without the permission of the player behind the nation, for an indefinite period of time.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 26 October 2004


1) A violation of any of the terms of the remedy ordered by Arbitration shall result in a 24-hour ban of the IP and a reversion of the edits in question.

Passed with two ayes and one de facto abstention, 25 October 2004

Motion to reopen

I, Goobergunch, move to reopen this arbitration case given User:Syskeyia's repeated violative edits to Christianity.

Sysops in favor of reopening (3 required to reopen):

  1. Goobergunch|? 01:21, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)
  2. → Fris Θtalk 01:28, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)

Sysops opposed to reopening:

  1. |Knoot|KNOOtalk 04:52, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT) (will explain on irrssi tonight. prolly.)
  2. As the parties of this arbitration don't consider this case appropriate for reopening. -- Wilem Engelking 15:57, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)


My issues with reopening this arbitration case are mainly procedural: this was a case of myself vs Syskeyia and I suppose that is how the policies that have now (alledgedly) been violated were established. I was willing to go to arbitration to establish precedent for this.

In my opinion, recent edits by this user are not, in fact, a case of a 'continued conflict' between myself and Syskeyia as I have merely been involved in enforcing standing policy. Nor do these edits represent a casus for arbitration wherein new principles have to be established. This case is, in my opinion, a matter of enforcing standing NSwiki policy. As such it does not warrant reopening the old arbitration procedure. (And with my non-sysop 'user who filed te case' hat in mind I'm also not really willing to do so for as far as that decision is even up to me.)

Arbitration procedure also has other disadvantages: I have some ideas on how to deal with this situation and I presume that using this arbitration with me officially still filing it means that I will again not be participating in the decision in my capacity as a sysop. In addition, it may suggest to the casual reader that this is some personal vendetta which it is not. Goober and Fris and such have also reverted Syskeyian edits on the same subject based on the same principles. Therefore I'd like a procedure that is depersonalised from my person, especially in the light of the ridicilous accusations and personal attacks that have been made by user agains my person by the accused user.

Therefore, I object to this arbitration procedure being reopened. Alternatively, I'd suggest using a discussion page that was suggesed. User:Syskeyia/ban or User:Syskeyia/Policy Enforcement if you feel like using neutral language. -- |Knoot|KNOOtalk 15:30, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)

  • As my primary aim in requesting reopening was to revisit the concept of policy enforcement, I agree with Knoot in principle. As long as we focus on that aspect of the case, I don't really care how we approach the issue. Given that the policy was defined in this arbitration discussion, it makes some sense to modify the result here, or on a subpage of this discussion. I'd recommend NSwiki:Arbitration/Syskeyia/Policy Enforcement as a suitable place to hold the discussions, and further recommend that User:Knootoss not be required to recuse himself from this discussion. → Fris Θtalk 15:41, 16 Dec 2004 (GMT)